Homemade Toothpaste that Actually Tastes Good!

I’ve been experimenting for some time now to try to find a homemade all-natural toothpaste that actually tastes good! And I’ve found it 🙂

The key cleansing ingredient in homemade toothpaste is baking soda, and let’s be honest, baking soda tastes disgusting. Give this toothpaste a chance. It’s healthy, good for you, cleanses your teeth really well and is not packed full of nasty chemicals.

What You Need:

  • ¼ cup of coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp of baking soda
  • 10-15 drops of peppermint essential oil (or whatever you prefer)
  • 1 packet of stevia

What You Need To Do:

Mix all the ingredients together and you have toothpaste!

I store mine in a small Tupperware container and usually use my finger to spoon on the toothpaste unto my brush.

Enjoy!

How to Kick the Common Cold in the Butt…Naturally :)

After a week of heading up Daily Vacation Bible School with Evan and being surrounded by kids all week, I woke up Saturday morning with a cold. Poo 😦

When I have feel a cold coming on, or am in the midst of a full-fledged cold, I have five essential natural ingredients on hand. (Besides lots of Kleenex :))

Ricola Herb Drops (Not in the picture because I used them all!) – I really don’t like wondering what are in my cough drops so I stick with Ricola. According to the Ricola website, Ricola herb drops contain 13 herbs.. Since 1940, Ricola has been using a traditional blend of 13 fine quality medicinal herbs to produce this Swiss herb specialty to the same recipe: The blend of burnet, elder blossom, speedwell, peppermint, sage, marshmallow, thyme, lady’s mantle, horehound, plantain, cowslip, yarrow and mallow is appreciated by consumers worldwide as relief for colds, coughs and hoarseness. The herbs for this delicious herb drop are cultivated in the Swiss mountains using organic farming methods without chemical pesticides. Completely natural so I know I will not do any harm to my body as I recuperate from the common cold.

Eucalyptus Oil – I use this for my homemade Vicks (see recipe below) and also for an herbal steam. Since I do not have a bathtub, I use the classic bowl and towel method. Eucalyptus steam inhalation is recommended by some alternative practitioners for relieving nasal congestion and sinus congestion, usually from colds and flu. It can be done two to four times a day to relieve symptoms. This isn’t for everyone but for those who find this effective, by doing a eucalyptus steam inhalation routine while you have a cold, dry air passages are moistened, and mucus is loosened/eliminated easier by coughing or blowing the nose. The moist air also alleviates difficulty breathing, throat irritation and inflammation.

What You Need:

  • Kettle
  • Water
  • Eucalyptus oil
  • Sheet or large towel
  • Large bowl or container

What You Need to Do:

  • Fill the kettle and bring the water to a boil.
  • Place the bowl on a stable surface, such as a table.
  • Turn the kettle off and carefully pour approximately four to six cups of water into the bowl.
  • Add two to three drops of eucalyptus oil to the water.
  • With your head at approximately arm’s length away, cover your head with the towel. Don’t bring your face too close to the water.
  • Close your eyes and breathe deeply. Continue for 10 minutes.
  • If you start to feel overheated or uncomfortable, remove the sheet.

Safety Precautions

  • Do not add more than the suggested amount of eucalyptus oil.
  • Keep children away while doing a eucalyptus steam inhalation.
  • Certain people should avoid eucalyptus steam inhalation, such as those with heart conditions, central nervous system disoders, and pregnant women. Infants, children, and elderly people may not be able to respond appropriately to the heat.
  • Side effects may include headache, dizziness, nausea, and tiredness.

Honey – I go through a wack of honey when I have a cold. I use it for three things: to quickly alleviate a sore throat, lemon and honey tea and apple cider vinegar and honey tea.

Honey for sore throats – Taking a spoon full of honey helps to alleviate a sore throat. Due to the consistency of the honey, it naturally coats and soothes the throat. Honey has antimicrobial properties that not only soothes sore throats but also kills bacteria that caused the sore throat in the first place.

Honey Lemon Tea – With a wedge of lemon, a spoonful of honey and some hot water and you have lovely honey lemon tea. It hasn’t been widely studied why exactly honey lemon tea is so great for colds but it is has withstood the age of time for being a go-to remedy to soothe the symptoms that come with the common cold.This tea is also great to have before bed when you have a cold and will aid in helping you sleep like a baby 🙂

Honey and Apple Cider VinegarBefore jumping to conclusions, I know this sounds gross but oh my goodness it does wonders for the common cold. When you feel a cold coming on, make this tea. The apple cider vinegar creates an acidic environment and the germs cannot live in an acidic environment. Given the antimicrobial germ-fighting of properites of honey, this tea is a double whammy. All you need for this simple tea is 1 Tbsp of honey, 1 Tbsp of apple cider vinegar and hot water. Your cold doesn’t stand a chance!

And of course, my homemade Vicks. Free of any nasty bad-for-you ingredients (like Petrolium). Simply two good-for-you ingredients: coconut oil and eucalyptus oil. You can see how I make it here.

As we all know, there is no cure for the common cold so all we can do is do our best to make ourselves as comfortable as possible while our bodies fight off the cold. Natural ingredients is my go-to because it only makes sense to help my body to fight off germs with things that God created us to use in the first place 🙂 I’m tellin’ ya, God knows what He is doing!

Fruit Fly Trap

Since it’s summer and we compost, we’ve been having trouble with fruit flies in our little apartment. When my brother and his girlfriend were here for a visit, she said Apple Cider Vinegar works really well so I thought, “may as well give it a shot!”

I’m so glad I did because it worked! No more fruit flies! Yayy! 🙂

What You Need:

  • Container or Glass
  • Dish detergent
  • Apple Cider Vinegar

What To Do:

Pour apple cider vinegar into your container or glass (just use a small amount…you really do not need much) and put a few drops of dish detergent in there as well. The dish detergent acts as a trap that drowns the flies (it sounds so awful!) Place it near some fruit (I put it by my fruit bowl since they are attracted to that anyway)……and wait.

By the next morning, we had NO fruit flies! Thanks to apple cider vinegar (and yes, it will stick like smelly feet), our fruit fly problem is gone 🙂

Yet another at-home, cheap, DIY remedy you can do at home!

Homemade Vicks With Coconut Oil

Okay so I don’t have a cold right now so there isn’t an immediate reason I am posted this DIY other than the fact that I want to share it with you!

The last time I had a cold (probably about 6 months ago), I was searching online for a homemade Vick’s rub simply because money was tight and if I had the ingredients to make it myself, it was going to happen.

Upon doing my research, I stumbled across the fact that Vick’s is really not such a good idea. I have discovered that it contains PETROLEUM! Do you realize what that is?!?! Petroleum is a liquid mixture of hydrocarbons that is extracted and refined to produce fuels including gasoline, kerosene, oil and diesel oil. EWW! That cannot be good for your body. Not to mention, Vick’s rub is actually banned in some countries so that just speaks for itself! Imagine the crap you are putting on your skin that seeps into your pores! No thank you!

This recipe for your homemade Vick’s rub is simply and effective. All you need is: coconut and essential oil of your choice. I use Eucalyptus oil simply because I find it the most effective when you have a cold. I usually put some on my and on my nose before I go to bed.

Directions: Begin with Tbsp of coconut oil and just add a few drops of essential oil into it until it is at the strength that you wish J You really don’t need very much so use sparingly. Also, make sure you do not get it in your eyes or in your mouth because of the essential oil. Store in a well-sealed contained in the fridge.

I find this stuff is so great J And so natural! So the next time you find yourself with a cold and are all stuffed up, give this recipe a shot!

Coconut Oil: The Secret to Growing Hair Long and Beautiful :) (and it’s natural!)

About a year ago I started growing my hair out and my hair has grown really fast….thanks to coconut oil! I initially started putting coconut oil in my hair as a leave in conditioner and then discovered how healthy my hair was looking and how fast it was growing!

When I first started using coconut oil in my hair, I would put it all through my hair but it would just make it really greasy. Through trial and error, and much reading, I have found that putting coconut oil at the ends of my hair after I wash my hair is ideal. Hair growth comes from the root of the hair but unlike common belief, some girls have difficulty growing their hair out because the ends of their hair are not being taken care of. If you use heat on your hair or haven’t had a trim in awhile, the hair begins to split and break off which makes it nearly impossible for those damaged pieces of hair to continue to grow.

So why is coconut oil so effective in growing out long beautiful hair?

When you put coconut oil on your hair, it completely fills the hair. If you looked at a strand of hair under a microscope, you would discover it is like a tube…when coconut oil is on the hair, it fills the shaft (also gives your hair a fuller look with more body).

Coconut oil also protects the hair from possible damage from fatigue (when the hair becomes damaged from swelling and shrinking due to water retention and absorption).

Weak and damaged hair may be a result of protein loss and coconut oil reduces protein loss immensely.

Coconut oil also protects the harm from heat and environment damage.

All in all, coconut oil is a keeper in growing your hair out really fast! After you wash your hair, put a dime size amount of coconut oil on your finger (not too much, a little goes a long way!) and run it through the ends of your hair and let it air dry.

The results speak for itself:

My hair May 2013:

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My hair August 2014: 

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What are you waiting for? Go grow your hair out! Naturally 🙂 

An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away! :)

Natural foods in their pure form are a beautiful creation from God. If you think about it, all the fruit and veggies, herbs and spices are just wonderfully tasty and they all have their own unique health benefits and nutrients for our bodies. It is how God created us to eat, food in their natural form…God did not make processed foods, that’s all man-made and it gives no nutrients to our bodies, which we need to live healthy lives. I believe whole-heartedly that if we take care of our bodies with food and exercise, always being mindful that God creates us in His image, that He is living within us and that He wants us to enjoy life and enjoy it to the fullest, then we can at least live our lives with peace, comfort and joy.

One of the natural foods that have been my obsession lately is Apple Cider Vinegar. Ever hear of the saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”? There’s definitely truth to that because apples are just naturally good for you, full of goodness for your body, inside and out!

Photo on 2014-08-02 at 12.23 PM

When I say “out”, I mean it can be used externally as a toner for your skin. Within the past year I have been struggling with breakouts on my face, neck and behind my ears and nothing seemed to clear my skin except for Apple Cider Vinegar. Before I tell you more of the homemade toner I use that works wonderfully for my skin, let’s talk about why it is so great for you.

Vinegar comes from a process of fermentation. In the case of apples, the sugars naturally found in apples are broken down by bacteria and yeast. The sugars turn to alcohol and eventually when it breaks down further, it turns into vinegar which comes from the French which means “sour wine”.

When using apple cider vinegar, it is important that it is raw organic apple cider vinegar that contains the “mother” because if it is anything else, the nutrients of the natural product has been processed out of it. The “mother” in the raw apple cider vinegar can be seen gathered at the bottom of the bottle which is made up of living nutrients and bacteria, which is why it is so good for the body. It is made up of strand-like enzymes of connected protein molecules with living nutrients and bacteria. Any vinegar that does not have this has been stripped of its nutrients and if consumed too much can actually be detrimental to your health because it is considered dead instead of alive (the “mother”) as is found in raw apple cider

The nutrients found in raw apple cider vinegar with the “mother” include:

  • Potassium which helps fight against brittle teeth, hair lose and runny noses. This is key for growth, muscle growth, transmission of nerve impulses, heart activity, etc.
  • Pectin which helps regulate blood pressure and reduce bad cholesterol.
  • Malic acid, which helps apple cider vinegar be resistant to viruses, bacteria and fungus.
  • Calcium, which supports strong bones and teeth.
  • Ash gives apple cider giver an alkaline property, which helps the body maintain proper pH levels.
  • Acetic acid, which can help lower the rise of glucose. (This mineral is particularly important if you drink a lot of wine or coffee).
  • A few studies have also found that apple cider vinegar may be able to kill cancer cells or slow their growth.

Now that it has been established that raw organic apple cider vinegar is SUPER good for you, the smell of the stuff takes some getting used to. As my dad says after I put the toner on at night, “You smell like sour feet”. Despite that, it works so well in clearing up the skin of discoloration, blemishes, helps balance out the pH levels in the skin immensely, softens the skin, exfoliates the skin, reduces red marks and treats acne on the face and body.

So why does apple cider vinegar works so well to clear one’s skin? Skin is naturally acidic; everyone has a protective layer of oil on the outer surface of their skin. But each time you wash your face or apply a product, you are disputing the skin’s natural pH levels, which leads to breakouts, discoloration, acne and dry skin. This is where the hero comes in: APPLE CIDER VINEGAR! 🙂 

The acidity found in apple cider vinegar helps to bring the skin’s pH levels back to a normal level which is ultimately restoring your skin back to ultimate health. With the skin functioning at an optimal level, your skin can ward off bacteria and shed dead skin cells at a normal rate so it opens up your pores and the skins is healthy again! 

 To make your own apple cider vinegar, you will need:

  • Empty bottle or container
  • Filtered water
  • Raw organic apple cider vinegar with “mother” (I use Omega Nutrition Raw Organic Apple Cider Vinegar…and its only about $5 in the natural foods aisle at the grocery store!) 

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 I bought a squeeze bottle from the dollar store and sterilized it with hot water. I then filled half the bottle with apple cider vinegar and half with filtered water from my Brita. To use it, I squeeze some on a cotton pad and wipe it all over my face (avoid the eyes), behind my ears and on my neck after I have washed and dried my face. Basically, put it anywhere you seem to have troubled skin. I do this every night before bed and within a week, I saw a huge difference in my skin. Before doing this, it is VERY important that you dilute the apple cider vinegar because it is very acidic and it could do damage over time.

Photo on 2014-08-02 at 12.25 PM

(Notice the “mother” at the bottom of the bottle) 

 

I am no longer breaking out behind my ears and neck and my skin is no longer discolored. When I wear make up, I do not even have to wear cover-up to even out the color of my skin. It stinks but the results are worth it J