HealingForReal

Category Archives: Natural Beauty Care

Fresh Breath FAST – Naturally Flavored Toothpicks

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Sunday mornings on the way out the door to church, I used to grab a stick of gum to make sure my breath was nice and fresh. It was usually sugarless and fruity or sugared and cinnamon. When I switched to real food and tried to eliminate toxins from my life, I realized the gums and breath mints I was using had some nasty ingredients. Some that have even been linked to cancer.

I looked for ‘healthy’ gum and found a few like this and this, but they weren’t the same. Not bad, just not what I wanted anymore. I still wanted fresh breath without having to bring my toothbrush or mouthwash along.

I found the solution at the health food store! Flavored toothpicks. The ones I found were only available with tea tree oil and I am not a fan of tea tree in my mouth. It’s a great oil. I use it for a lot of things, like my molluscum contagiosum treatment blend and as a topical anesthetic, but I do not like the taste of it. That led me to this bright idea!! I can make them myself! I have oils in various flavors that would work. I just needed toothpicks. I chose a natural sustainable bamboo toothpick I found at my local health food store. These toothpicks are pretty close and super cheap.

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I chose cinnamon and vanilla for a bit of a ‘cinnamon roll’ flavor. You can also use peppermint, citrus, clove, etc. for different flavors. I put the drops right in the bottom of the container. (*Caution: cinnamon oil is strong and can be a skin irritant, so be careful while using it. I have not had a problem with the cinnamon being too strong once it is dried, but if you are concerned, dilute with a carrier oil. Wash your hands after handling the oils and toothpicks and don;t touch your face or sensitive areas. And because of a concern from a reader, I will mention that these and all oils should be kept out of the reach of children. Also mentioned by the concerned reader, wintergreen should not be used internally.)

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I added a couple of drops of vanilla and put the toothpicks back in the container. They immediately started to wick the oils and soak them up.

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After a couple of hours, I took 10 or 12 of them out and dried them flat on a paper towel. I figured I’d leave the rest in the container to keep soaking up the oils and dry them as I need them. I took a rollerball container and removed the roller ball and the toothpicks fit right in. I can stick these in my purse and have a quick non-toxic way to freshen my breath anywhere. They are cheap and easy to make and store.

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GIVEAWAY! Reluctant Healthwife is Now ‘Healing For Real’

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The Reluctant Healthwife Blog was started shortly after I committed to replacing my SAD diet and long list of medications with real food nutrition and natural supplements. It was a way to document my progress and – I admit it – convince myself that it would really work. That I would really feel better and get my life without pain and sickness back. My husband has been convinced for over 10 years.

I was skeptical and unwilling to give up my vices, namely processed foods and prescriptions to treat my symptoms. I dragged my feet until I couldn’t handle taking a fistful of immune suppressants and pain medications every day and giving myself a shot every week. I got tired of getting every cold that my little guy brought home and I got tired of being tired. I would sleep half the day away and still want to sleep more. And the worst thing was that even with all the meds, I was still in pain.

Pain is a great motivator. So, I committed. I stopped the fast food, cheap processed snacks, factory farmed meats and dairy and started eating nutrient dense food including FATS and SUGARS. Just way better versions of them. I also STOPPED the meds! (I went to an integrated medicine doctor to slowly transition off of medications and on to natural supplements. PLEASE do not discontinue any medication without checking with your doctor first!)

Six months later, I can say that this is working. It’s working well. I am not ‘healed’ by any means, but I am in the process. I rarely need a nap these days. Instead of my joint stiffness staying with me for half an hour in the morning, it subsides in about 5 minutes with a little movement. I get fewer migraine headaches. I am losing weight (albeit, slowly). My digestion has never been better. I am convinced. So, I’m going to keep at it. My plan instead of just treating symptoms is…HEALING FOR REAL and sharing it with you.

As an introduction to my new not-so-reluctant ways, I am giving away a little package of my favorite real food essentials.

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REAL FOOD by Nina Planck.
A great book on the basics of eliminating processed foods and eating real foods.

Redmond Real Salt.
Natural sea salt with more than 60 naturally occurring trace minerals.

Cultures for Health San Francisco Sourdough Starter.
An easy way to introduce some fermented foods into your diet.

AND a cute little reminder on a MUG (designed by ME!).


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Enter to win and come back and visit often!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Keep the Chlorine OUT of the Kiddie Pool!

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A while back I wrote a post about neutralizing chlorine in your bath water. Now that it’s summer, we’re filling up the kiddie pools, most likely with the same water we use to fill our bathtubs. The kids are splashing around having a great time…and absorbing chlorine through their skin.

[stextbox id=”bl”]WHY is that a problem?
As I wrote in my previous post, “Chlorine is a chemical that kills living organisms. Unfortunately, it is not selective, so along with killing pathogens in our water, it kills beneficial bacteria and cells and tissues within the body. Inhaling chlorine byproducts in the steam from chlorinated showers and absorbing chlorine through the skin can trigger the body to produce free radicals, which cause damage to cells. Chlorine byproducts have also been shown to cause cancer and are a factor in heart disease .” (Read more about why we avoid chlorine in my previous post.)[/stextbox]

The good news is that the same way you can clean up your bathwater, the chlorine can be wiped out of that kiddie pool in seconds VERY INEXPENSIVELY. Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) has been proven to neutralize chlorine in water. Just one teaspoon can neutralize the chlorine in 200 gallons. Sprinkle it in the little pool, swish it around and you’re done! The water should be drained often to prevent bacteria build-up. (GET VITAMIN C POWDER HERE). OR…you could wait 24-48 hours for the chlorine to evaporate on its own, but who wants to wait to play???

Unfortunately, you can’t go around neutralizing the neighbors’ pools or the public pool. Luckily, vitamin C will also neutralize chlorine on the skin after swimming. There’s a great topical spray for hair and body that uses the same method of neutralization (get it here).

Keep the chlorine out of the kiddie pool this summer with safe and natural Vitamin C!

Chlorine Neutralizing Bath Salts

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I love a nice, long, relaxing bath. I’ve been taking more baths lately with epsom salts to get a little bit more magnesium and to soak away some stress. Recently, I reordered the chlorine filter for our shower head and realized that the water in my baths was NOT being filtered. I was soaking for half an hour or more in chlorinated water when we had been trying to avoid it as much as possible by filtering our shower and our drinking water.

WHY? Chlorine is a chemical that kills living organisms. Unfortunately, it is not selective, so along with killing pathogens in our water, it kills beneficial bacteria and cells and tissues within the body. Inhaling chlorine byproducts in the steam from chlorinated showers and absorbing chlorine through the skin can trigger the body to produce free radicals, which cause damage to cells. Chlorine byproducts have also been shown to cause cancer and are a factor in heart disease .

[stextbox id=”info”]”Breast cancer, which now affects one in every eight women in North America, has recently been linked to the accumulation of chlorine compounds in the breast tissue.” (source).[/stextbox]

My plan to eliminate as many toxins as possible, definitely includes chlorine. For a more detailed article on the adverse effects of chlorine, click here.

I thought about how I might filter my bath water and found a few commercial products and contraptions that would do the trick.  When I looked into how they worked and what was used to filter the chlorine, I was surprised to find it was mostly ascorbic acid. What is ascorbic acid? Nothing more than VITAMIN C.

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Vitamin C as ascorbic acid has long been known to neutralize chloramine and chlorine in water. The reaction is quick and just one gram of ascorbic acid will neutralize 100 gallons of tap water(source).

OK, GREAT! Vitamin C. I had some in my cupboard and wondered if I should just crush a tablet or dissolve it in the water or what? I guess I could have done that, but a quick search lead me to find PURE VITAMIN C POWDER, ready to neutralize! The cost per bath is about SIX CENTS! I added it to the rest of the fun stuff I put in my bath and had myself a nice de-chlorinated soak in the tub. The difference in the smell of the bathwater was distinctly noticeable! It had a slightly sweet, metallic smell. Not at all unpleasant, just different. Different is GOOD in this case. No more chlorine smell! No more yuck.

So, here’s my ‘recipe’ for Chlorine Neutralizing Bath Salts!

[stextbox id=”stb_style_197640″]

Chlorine Neutralizing Bath Salts

Relaxation Version (enough for 1 bath)

1/2 cup Epsom Salt
1/2 tsp VITAMIN C POWDER
3 drops Lavender (or other favorite) Essential Oil

Detox Version (enough for 1 bath)

2 cups Epsom Salt
1/2 tsp VITAMIN C POWDER
1/2 cup Bentonite Clay
1/2 cup Sea Salt
1/2 cup Baking Soda
3 drops Peppermint (or other detoxing) essential oil
3 drops Rosemary (or other detoxing) essential oil
(Other oils good for detox might be grapefruit, lime, lemon, rose, cypress, etc.)

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If you already have a favorite recipe, just add about 1/2 teaspoon of vitamin c powder (or 1 gram if you want to get technical and weigh it) for EACH ‘serving’ of bath salt. (Example – If you use 1 cup of your bath salt recipe per bath and you make a 4 cup batch, you would add 1/2 tsp per cup which would be 2 tsp. total – MIX WELL!).

If you’re NOT filtering your drinking water and shower water, read the articles linked above and below and maybe reconsider and get a good filter! We use THIS ONE and LOVE it. And it’s not ugly, so it sits nicely on the counter.

“…Chlorine represents a very real and serious threat to our health and should be removed in our homes, at the point of use, both from the water we drink and the water we shower in.”
-Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DABFM

Note: I’ve had a few skeptics wonder if this can really be true. For more information and and some chemistry lessons, here are a few links!
http://h2oblogged.wordpress.com/water-treatment-systems/chloramine-removal/vitamin-c-for-chlorine-removal/

http://www.inspiredliving.com/chloramine-filters/vitamin-c-removes-chloramines.htm

SFPUC determined
that 1000 mg of Vitamin C (tablets purchased in a grocery store, crushed and mixed in with the
bath water) remove chloramine completely in a medium size bathtub without significantly
depressing pH.

You can google more or buy a test kit like this one and try it out yourself.

This post is shared at, Butter BelieverHomegrown & Healthy Food ForagerThank Your BodyIntoxicatedonLifeSmall Footprint FamilyGnowfglinsHolistic SquidMy Cultured Palate

Must Have Pretty Bottles

I decided to try the baking soda ‘anti-shampoo’ (No ‘Poo) and apple cider vinegar rinse that I’ve seen so many times lately and it worked great the first day. By afternoon, my hair was a little heavier than I’m used to, but I know there’s said to be a transition period. The recipe that I decided to go with is at 1greengeneration. It’s the basic baking soda recipe, but mixed with water and put in a shower friendly bottle. The apple cider vinegar rinse is also listed and she adds vanilla and essential oils to it. I’m adding wild rosemary oil to mine.

The problem I have with some of these DIY projects is…I like pretty things. Sleekly shaped shampoo bottles with nice feminine designs on them make me happy. Good thing I am somewhat of a digital design geek. I can’t do just any bottle. My husband has his baking soda in an old supplement container in the shower. Not pretty. I CAN’T HANDLE THAT!! It has to be pretty!

I hunted for some functional AND pretty bottles today at TJMaxx and didn’t find anything in the kitchen or bath sections. But then, at the register (with my college student son – who bought a peacock painting??) there were some pretty bottles of Hawaiian spring water with pull top lids! $2.60 later, I had my bottles. I stripped the labels and designed my own for my mixed potions. I taped over the labels (albeit, not very neatly) to make sure they stand up in the shower for a while. Pretty No ‘Poo bottles! All is right and good in the DIY world tonight.

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This post is also shared at Real Food Forager, Holistic Squid,

How Real Foods Made My Plantar Fasciitis Worse

plantarThose darn real foods! Raw milk, bone broths and sprouted grains have taken a toll on my poor feet. How is this even possible, you ask? It’s been about 4 weeks since I committed to eating at least 80% real food instead of my usual of less than 50% (depending on the day and my cravings for processed treats and sweets). The first noticeable change – increased energy. I sit down to rest between tasks as I have for the past few years dealing with autoimmune issues and the side effects of the drugs that come along with them, but I don’t stay there to recover for an hour or so anymore. Within a few minutes I think of something else that needs to be done, most likely cutting grids into my settling cheese or feeding the sourdough starter, and I pop up and go do it. My poor feet aren’t used to all the standing and running around completing long-neglected tasks. They scream at me when I head up the…STAIRS! By the end of the night, they kind of hate real food. I, however, will not back down.

After just a short time eating mostly real foods and NOT eating processed foods, I have successfully replaced a couple of my pharmaceuticals with natural supplements(NP doctor approved). My joint pain is no worse, and if I think about how I felt a month ago, I’d even say it’s a little better. I am optimistic for the first time in years. My energy level is almost incomparable. My husband says he’s surprised at all of the things I’m getting done lately. I am surprised. My feet are surprised.

What have I changed? A lot.

  • I am eating a lot of raw whole milk products I make myself. Kefir, sour cream, mozzarella cheese, ice cream, whey.
  • I am eating organic local pastured meats and eggs, making broth from the bones and using it in my cooking.
  • I am eating fresh (or lacto fermented) whole organic fruits and vegetables, especially fatty ones like olives and avocados (and no – I’m not gaining weight from eating more fat, I’ve lost 5 lbs, although that’s not my main focus right now).
  • I am drinking lots of filtered water and using lots of good quality sea salt.
  • If I have sugar it is in the form of raw local honey, succanat or grade b maple syrup.
  • If I have grains, they are whole, organic and usually sprouted or soaked.
  • I am taking fermented cod liver oil (seriously!) and a couple other supplements to help me digest and heal quicker.
  • I am replacing chemical versions of my household cleaners and beauty products with natural non-toxic formulas.
  • I am expending energy in enjoyable and stress-free ways.
  • I am attempting to get more sleep.
  • I am FEEDING my body the nutrients it needs to heal instead of putting emphasis on restricting entire food groups.

I expect to progress more and more as I heal and change my lifestyle, but if the changes I’ve seen so far were the only ones to ever happen, I would still be thrilled. I’ll take sore feet over days in bed anytime. Besides, thanks to my awesome friend Catherine, and her recommendation of the book Every Woman’s Guide to Healing Foot Pain, I can work with sore feet as I keep on changing for the better.

This post is also shared on Holistic Squid, My Cultured Palate, Thank Your Body, Food Renegade, Our Heritage of Health, Mamaandbabylove,Butter Believer