Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Shampoo take 2

I am still loving my toothpaste.  I've now made a second batch, which I tried to put spearmint essential oil into, but perhaps didn't put enough.  It smelled right, but I didn't really taste any minty flavor.  Doesn't matter, with or without it, I like it!

As for shampoo,  I decided to try a liquid shampoo.  Here is the recipe I  used.
(loosely based on the PH balanced shampoo you can find on the internet)

1 can full fat coconut milk (about 13.5 oz) –
2 Tbsp liquid raw honey –
1 tsp jojoba oil –
1 tsp castor oil
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp essential oils (I mixed lavender and rosemary)
1 tsp Argon oil
liberal shaking of Vitamin E oil

I whisked it all together and put it into an old shampoo bottle that I had lying around.
Lets see how I like it in the morning! 

Friday, 1 June 2018

toothpaste and shampoo next day

I am loving the toothpaste.  My spearmint essential oil came in, and I am considering making a second batch using it to compare.  However, even if I don't like the spearmint addition, I will keep using my new toothpaste.  I am not sure, too early to tell, but I think my teeth are whiter! 

Anyway, shampoo is another story.  I couldn't stand the buildup on my hair, so I caved and went back to my normal shampoo this morning.  I am away for the weekend, and I had wanted to bring my new shampoo bars with me, but I will not.  Next week, I will try a liquid shampoo and see what happens.

I did try making my own lotion.  It was supposed to be a whipped one, which I thought sounded heavenly, but try as I might, I could not get it to whip up.  Actually, unless it's basically frozen, it's pretty liquidy.  And it has a sort of crystalline structure to it, so that, while not harsh, is sort of exfoliating.  I'm not sure I like it or not.  My skin does feel wonderful with it, but I think I will need to keep trying recipes because I don't think I'm going to settle for this one permanently.

Thursday, 31 May 2018

Toothpaste and shampoo bar

I feel so accomplished!  I made a bunch of lovely smelling shampoo bars, (recipe below) and some homemade toothpaste!  Here they are in the jars I put them in.  As you can see, I brush my teeth in the shower each morning, and.. I ran out of the toothpaste in there, so I put my own in!  

Shampoo Bar recipe:
1 lb oatmeal & shea butter melt & pour base 
1 tsp shea butter
1 tsp caster oil
1 tsp sweet almond oil
30 drops rosemary essential oil
30 drops orange essential oil

In a double boiler, mix & melt the oatmeal base, shea butter, and the caster & almond oils.
put silicone mold into freezer
After it's melted completely, remove from heat and stir in the essential oils.
Grind some dried rosemary (about 1 tsp) and stir in.

pour into silicone molds.  let sit 15 minutes - 
put back into the freezer for another 15 minutes
then remove from the molds
let sit over night before adding into your adorable jars/cans, etc.

Toothpaste recipe:
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp baking soda
mix well and store in a cute glass or stainless steel jar.
You can add in food grade essential oils here, but I didn't yet.  Wanted to try it before adding things I may not need.  

So... What did I think?  Using the toothpaste for the first time was easy.  I just dipped my toothbrush into the jar and then brushed my teeth as normal.  The coconut oil took away the harsh baking soda taste, and I found that I didn't need a 'minty' taste in my mouth after brushing.  My teeth feel clean and well taken care of!  I'll keep it!

Shampoo bar on the other hand...  they look and smell pretty....  But I may have used it wrong, or need to keep giving it a go to see if it changes.  My hair feels rough.  Dirty.  LIke there is a residue left on it that did not come off after washing.  I wasn't bothered by the lack of lather, but the fact that it feels like it left a coating on my hair is bothering me.  I am going to take another shower and do an ACV rinse and see if that helps.  Nope.. didn't help....  

Friday, 18 May 2018

Heading toward a zero waste life

I have a dream, a dream to be like those zero waste bloggers.  Where I can fit all the actual trash my family and I make in 1 year into a tin can.  I, we, are a very long way from there.

I need a plan...  part of it is about getting my family on board, part of it is simply laying down the law (I do most of the shopping, anyway) and part of it is mindset; for us all.

There are steps I've already taken. 

1.  I rarely accept groceries in plastic bags (note: stop the rarely and make it never).  Instead, I always carry my recycled parachute bags from with me.  I love their color, versatility, and ability to fold into themselves.
2.  I carry my copper water bottles with me, and rarely purchase new bottles for myself (note:  make the kids do it too!)
3.  I usually purchase Method cleaning products (my favorite!)  and I recycle the bottles.  (I can try making my own and re-using the bottles I have)  (note: don't buy any other products... only non-toxic and biodegradable or recyclable)
4. Making my own bread, yogurt, smoothies - I have gotten pretty good at this. Next steps are to figure out how to keep the smoothies for longer than 2 days, and how to flavor the yogurt (without sugar) so my kids will eat it every day.
5.  We/I carry collapsible mugs, silverware and stainless steel straws with us wherever we go.  Our favorite collapsible mugs are these from pokito

So, what are my goals then?  I don't think I can do it all at once, so here is my plan of action...

Next steps:  

Purchase muslin/linen/cotton produce bags.  Washable, reusable.  Why?  I need a way to be able to purchase loose items from the farmers market and be able to carry them home without making a total mess.

These bags from Ecobags are the ones I'm currently looking at.  Before I purchase them, though, I want to scour the internet to see if anyone has made any; I may have all the materials I need already in order to make my own. 

Order takeaway less - make sure to reuse and recycle what we do order.

When our current toothbrushes (and backup stock) run out, purchase bamboo toothbrushes and try making our own toothpaste. 

Figure out how to melt down/ shred plastic into usable filament for the 3d printer.

Make sure to purchase only -made from recycled - paper and paper products.  Make sure to recycle what we use.  Keep trying to use less paper - print less, do more electronically, and use rags instead of paper towels wherever possible, check the toilet paper. 

Make our own snacks and individually separate them for quick snacks on the go. (trail mix, etc)

Stop my soda habit (I know, it's so bad for me!)  and make sure to recycle any bottles used while getting to a stopping point.

Switch feminine products to cotton/ washable ones. 

Future problems:

Food packaging (from the grocery store) is still a problem.  Easy enough if I can get what I need from the farmers market or wet market, but what about things like cereal, milk, eggs, etc?
-research option of fresh milk (in glass) delivery, this may include eggs/butter
-stop eating boxed cereal (it's not super popular in my house anyway)
-consider what to do about packaged meats?  butcher?  but how to freeze correctly?
-can we get all our medicines/vitamins in glass bottles and re-use/recycle the bottles?

-What to do about my Amazon habit... 

Monday, 27 February 2017

Food, Vegan, Vegitarian, Plant based whole food diet

For the past few years I have become more and more obsessed with the food that we are eating.  I have this dream that one day we will be entirely vegetarian (ovo-lacto vegetarian) and will live on a small plot of land where I can have a cow and a few chickens, with lots of green houses where I grow everything we eat.  I would love to have enough solar powered or otherwise green energy to run our house and still live comfortably.

This food obsession of mine has got me growing things hydroponically.  I currently own 3 aerogrow systems and am seriously considering building something for my roof terrace.  I love the idea of picking what I need salad and herb wise right when I need it and not having to leave my house for it.  That is goal 1.

Goal 2 is going to be be staple vegetables:  I currently have cherry tomatoes and lettuce, but I want beefsteak tomatoes, zucchini, squash, leek, onions, cucumbers, corn, carrots, potatoes, beans, peppers, and others.

Goal 3:  nuts and fruit trees (I have lots but they are not growing fruits/nuts yet), olive trees

Goal 4:  wheat, rice, other legumes like chickpeas, lentils, etc.

Goal 5:  exotic fruts/nuts/ etc in special temperature controlled greenhouses

I have been watching all these documentaries:  movies like Forks over Knives and a documentary about a woman in NYC that challenges a bunch of meat eaters to go vegan for 6 weeks and then follows their progress.  I even spent some time on Alicia Silverstone's The Kind Life website.

I was almost convinced.... but a conversation with my (I grew up vegetarian) husband had me digging deeper and listening to the little voice in my head instead of my passions.  I found this wonderful (and long) article written by Denise Minger   that got me thinking.  Only, now I wasn't thinking about going vegan, I was thinking about unbiased journalism.  As wonderfully written as Ms. Minger's article is, even it isn't unbiased.  She writes from a completely anti-wheat stance.  However, her article shows how the data in Forks over Knives could have been skewed and how they only looked at the data they wanted to see.

Now, I'm the type of meat eater that wants to see the meat packaged in the supermarket.  If I had to kill it then I wouldn't eat it.  EVER.  I don't like to touch raw meat.  And, to be honest, I'm not into eating red meat - I do - but I don't really enjoy it.  I also eat very little chicken and I eat turkey once a year (guess which day), and I eat no fish or seafood of any kind.  I eat ground beef once or twice a week as a staple meat.  I do this because a lot of my recipes call for ground beef and the texture is what I am looking for in that dish.  I could probably find a replacement for the mince that wasn't meat and gave me the same texture.  I just haven't tried.

The PETA website and documentaries that promote veganism show you a very dark view of the food industry.  And while I  am sympathetic to that cause, and could never deliberately cause harm to an animal, I am not willing to believe that all farms do such things.  My grandparents had a wonderful little farm when I was growing up. Their animals were well taken care of, grass fed, free range and had superior vet care.  Female calves weren't taken from their mothers, (although most of the males were sold off),  and the cows were only in the barn during milking / feeding times, except during the worst winters when they were inside so they didn't freeze.  Pigs and chickens were also treated very well.  Their websites would have you believe that there are NO small farms left in America.  That every farm has succumbed to the 'mass market food production'.  That is simply not true.

I try to wear clothes that are plant based (cottons mostly) for my clothes/jeans.  However, I do own one or two silk items ( given to me as gifts), some cashmere, and some wool.  I do not belong to the group PETA, and will probably never.  I can't say that at this time, I agree with some of their ideas.  I don't believe that using animal hair / fur to make clothing is wrong, as long as the animals are healthy and well taken care of.  I don't believe in killing or harming the animal for the sake of wearing it.  I would never buy something that I knew had harmed the animal when making it.  Sheering or combing sheep to create a sweater doesn't bother me any more than cutting my hair.  My dog used to shed enough to make clothes from, if only I knew how.

Well, I digress.  For now, I will keep working toward my goal of growing what we eat, so that the only things I need from the store are milk, eggs and other dairy products.

Saturday, 25 February 2017

FMD- Day 5 & end

The scale was my friend today.  It said that I lost a little.  I am now down W - 3.7 lbs.
I don't feel like it was the 7 lbs that the FMD made it out to be, but it's something.
Lets see what today holds.

So far today I have had some water (with orange) and a cup of tea (I added sugar and milk to it this morning)
I am about to make myself some breakfast, make a few food things for this weekend, and settle into a computer frenzy of tax calendars.

I am an extremely productive procrastinator.  The things I have been able to do this morning while procrastination of those tax calendars is amazing!

Eating wise, I accidentally skipped breakfast.  For lunch I am having the following:

35 grams raw couscous
20 g corn kernels (from a can)
35 grams chickpeas (from a can)
40 grams red kidney beans (from a can)
1 small handful raisins

5pm - I 've had a large red apple and another 500ml of water as a snack.  I am having a late dinner with hubby, so I didn't want to eat anything filling.

5:30 - Ok, so I'm hungry.  I settled for 3 baby oranges and 3 crackers with a smidge of pb.

For dinner hubby and I split a Saganaki, and I ate 1 pita bread with hummus, then had 5 Dolamdes as my main.

On the next morning - the official end of the diet, I was Total W-2.8 lbs.  (had gained some after the Greek dinner )

I don't feel any different, my pants don't feel different, and the only thing the diet gave me was some hope.

I have a hypothesis that MY body doesn't actually need 2000 calories for maintenance.  I think I need much less.  So basing my diet on a 2000 calorie intake is wrong for me.  I think I only need about 1500 for maintenance.  Thats why when I eat what everyone considers 'normally' I actually gain weight.  But restricting down to 1200-1300 calories a day makes me lose a little weight, and dropping to 900-1000 makes me lose a lot, but I am still within my body's functioning parameters.

I am going to mull this over a while and see what my next steps are.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

FMD- Day 4

Beginning to feel disheartened.  The scale shows the initial -2.4 lbs and then steady.
If you look at my caloric intake yesterday, I was at 1180.

However, my  move stats are as follows:

473 active calories burned
1515 total calories burned

13 hours standing
11,103 steps taken
5.5 miles walked
7 flights stairs
61 minutes exercised.

A simple math problem tells you that if I only ate 1180 calories and I burned 1515, I should have lost weight!  What gives?

I'm over the hump now, so I will continue my diet for it's last two days and see what happens, but I am not optimistic.  I am going to go back and log all my food into my caloric intake assessor and see what the actual totals come out to be.  I must be doing this wrong. :(

Before breakfast, I had 1/2 cup of my tea and a small red apple.

For breakfast I am having 1/4 cup Lizzi's original granola, 10 raspberries and 100 grams of my homemade plain yogurt (215 calories)

I am trying a new tea today.  Twinings, again, but apple & pear green tea.  Lets see if I like it plain.  - It's ok... but I think I prefer the Turkish apple one better.

2:06 pm.  ate lunch - leftovers from last night's vegetable soup with a slice of my whole wheat Irish soda bread and a smear of butter.  I am just about done with my first 500ml bottle of water.  I never did finish the apple & pear tea.

7:27 - had a large salad for dinner - leaves, chickpeas, red kidney beans, corn, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, and a drizzle of thousand island dressing.

I cheated today - I had a 1/4 snickers bar and a bunch of buttered popcorn with white cheddar seasoning.  I'm sure that will mess up my diet!

Because I was scared of messing up the diet to much, I did a 7 minute full body workout to finish off the night.