Archive for healthy-living

“Poo-less”, etc., Update

Posted in Musings with tags , , , , , on July 19, 2013 by Dena

Just a little update on my last post where I talked about experimenting with giving up soap and shampoo, etc..

Unfortunately, I’m having to stick with shampoo and conditioner for the time being–tried to at least go without conditioner (substituting vinegar rinse), and that just made my hair heavy and oily again, so once again had to bring it back to life with a small hit of shampoo. From then on, I decided not to mess with my hair care routine other than keeping it at very small amounts and not leaving the conditioner in, just rinsing it out immediately. So far, it works just as well as using a lot, leaving conditioner in for a long time, etc..

I’ve also been using oil as facial cleanser, as recommended by Julie. For now, I’m using olive oil. I’ve been doing some reading up on the subject for the last few days (PS: The theory is that adding oil to your face dissolves the existing oil, hence why it works), and there seems to be conflicting information about which oils will be helpful, and which will just further clog your pores and make it worse. Unfortunately, a lot say olive oil and coconut oil are harmful. But not all, so … err, I don’t know who to believe. I guess I’ll continue with olive oil for awhile, since it’s what I have in the bathroom right now, and see how it goes.  I’m a little afraid to try coconut oil anyway, because awhile back, I used coconut-scented moisturizer and I ended up REALLY breaking out. Most of the sites recommend castor oil and … not sure if I should trust that stuff since it comes from a toxic plant, same as I no longer consume canola oil for similar reasons.

But anyway, face routine is now basically this method but with olive oil in the evening, then wiping with a hot damp cloth in the morning … at the very least, my skin doesn’t seem any MORE oily than when I was scrubbing with soap at night, then wiping with witch hazel in the morning. I hope this is helpful in the long run–at 37 years old, I’m awfully tired of dealing with acne.

Everything else SEEMS to be working fine, so no updates there, it’s just more of the same.


Semi-successful Experiment

Posted in Musings with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 16, 2013 by Dena

Once again, a topic on MDA Forums (or the conversation that the topic semi-evolved into) got me thinking, and, in this case, inspired an experiment. (and, once again, maybe a little TMI-ish, but not too bad)

There is a lot of talk in some circles about soap and hair products being harmful. I never put much stock into that, but a lot of people in that topic talking about replacing manufactured soap and hair products with natural substances and having IMPROVED results when it comes to hygene really got me thinking. Shampoo and body wash is expensive, unless you buy the cheap kind that tends to leave a film on you. And, frankly, despite the fact that I wash daily, and am eating pretty healthy these days, I still get pretty bad acne during those hormonal times–I got to wondering if a change of this kind might actually be beneficial. And cheap! A box of baking soda is less than a dollar, and a gallon of white vinegar is just a couple dollars–2 cheap products that can do what 3+ expensive products do? Sounds awesome.

Basically, the idea was to replace soap and shampoo with (sometimes diluted, sometimes not) baking soda, and (diluted) vinegar for conditioner for awhile to see what happens. I tried it starting Friday night, and the results were great–came out of the shower feeling just as clean as whenever I used soap and shampoo/conditioner, and my hair was just as managable–it lasted throughout the next day until it was time to shower again. Saturday night/Sunday was the same. Sunday night, at the end of the shower, I thought my hair felt oily and heavy, but it was still wet, so I’d hoped it was my imagination. Nope, ended up having to endure a day of work on Monday with greasy nasty hair. Monday night, same thing, so I broke down and used shampoo, and lo my hair is nice again today.

This is apparently normal, and I half-expected it–your hair goes through an adjustment period where it’s greasy and gross for about a week before it gets back to normal. Urrgh … I can’t do that. I work in an office job and I just can’t have my hair look bad for a full week. So, the Shampoo bit is a fail-for-now. I will try again once I’m in-between jobs and don’t have to be seen in public for awhile. In the mean time, I’ll continue using baking soda just as soap, and vinegar as conditioner and see if that works. At least it would mean less product in my hair.

But the soap part seems to be successful–skin hasn’t cleared up yet, but I’ve only been doing it for a few days and it takes time for results to show, but my skin looks and feels just as clean as if I’d used soap.

There are a couple of other successes as well …

I no longer use toothpaste–I wet the toothbrush and put a tiny bit of peppermint extract on it (just because I’m so used to tasting mint during/after brushing), and my teeth feel just as clean and smooth all day as if I had used toothpaste, but without that thick toothpasty flavor afterwards. I tried using the famous peroxide/baking soda combo on Sunday, thinking I might do that once a week or something (too often is supposed to be bad), but I was spitting blood afterwards, so … maybe not such a good idea. Maybe I’ll try it a couple more times and if I still get the same result, I’ll quit.

And finally, someone suggested replacing shaving cream/gel with aloe vera gel–a lot of people suggest coconut or olive oil, but I don’t want oil gunking up my razor, so I asked for an alternative. I cannot find straight aloe anywhere, but I experimented with some stuff I have for treating sunburns that I think is mostly aloe with a few ingredients added, like rubbing alchohol, to see if if was on the right track. It seems to work pretty well. So, once I find aloe, I’ll definitely try that for awhile.

I’ve also been using baking soda under my arms instead of deodorant–again, seems to work.

So it appears I’ve at least given up soap, maybe conditioner, toothpaste, shaving cream/gel, and deoderant–not too bad.

Haven’t found a substitute for moisturizer yet–I don’t like the feel of olive oil on my skin, plus when I put some olive oil on my legs after shaving, I noticed a few breakouts within the next couple days, which seemed to stop after I scrubbed with baking soda.

And, as a disclaimer, in case anyone reading this thinking, “Eww, no soap or shampoo? Gross! Stay away from me!”, trust me when I say that I am VERY self-conscious about hygene (I went through hell in high school because I wasn’t allowed to shower more than 1-2 times a week–would NEVER willingly put myself through that humiliation ever again, which is why I did this at the beginning of a weekend in case it didn’t work out)–if this stuff wasn’t working, and I was a mess, I’d notice.

EDIT – Fifteen minutes later, Mark posts this article. Talk about timing.

One more EDIT as an afterthought – I will NEVER give up nail polish, I don’t care what’s in it. That’s where I draw the line! And you can quote me on that =P

Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Programming

Posted in Moving with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 11, 2013 by Dena

Anyway, now that I’ve gotten that bit of fangirlism out of my system …

It’s about 1.6 months until the move–it’s an interesting mix of excitement and apprehension for me.

We’ll be temporarily moving into an Extended Stay hotel room for 2 months, at which point, we’ll hopefully save up enough to move to Sacramento at the end of October.

I’m just glad we’ll have our own space again–not crazy about it being in basically one big room (especially since we have a cat–can’t lock her out of the room when she’s being a brat =P Well, not if I want to keep her anyway), but oh well. At least I can start cooking again. Unfortunately, I think there’s only a microwave and stovetop–no oven–so that’ll limit me a bit. But I should be able to work around it–apparently you can roast veggies on a stovetop if you just have a skillet with a lid.

I wonder how well baking in a microwave works? I keep seeing recipes for basically cake-in-a-cup that you stick in the microwave, so … I wonder if cookies can be microwaved (nothing bad, I’m thinking of Julie’s Low Carb Peanut Butter Cookies, I love those things).

Oh well, I’ll figure something out. May just have to bake a few batches of things before the move and freeze them to hold me over for those two months (espcially my Paleo Bread–can’t live without that stuff!)

P.S.: Would you believe that my coffee maker crapped out this morning? Had it waited maybe another month, I would have toughed it out, but now I’m gonna have to buy a new one. Eh … not a total waste, I guess–hotel coffee makers never have that feature where you can program it to brew at a specific time, I may unplug the hotel one and stash it and use my own instead.

Happy Birthday, Mark Sisson

Posted in Musings with tags , , , , on July 11, 2013 by Dena

Slightly off-topic from what I usually talk about, but what the hell … one of my favorite bloggers, and author of The Primal Blueprint, is turning 60 this week.


Happy Birthday, Mark (like he’ll actually read this, but it’s the thought that counts =P)