Sunday, June 24, 2012

Is there shampoo without chemicals????!!!

I've been pulling my hair out (pun intended) trying to find just a plain old shampoo without a lot of chemicals in it.  You may have read my earlier blogs that had 2 favorite picks:  Nature's Gate and Hair One.

Those products are great, but today I'm taking it to another level.  I've learned a lot about natural oils and I'm amazed by the versatility of olive and apricot oil (now my favorite makeup remove and body oil, respectively).

So, I spent a little extra time at my local health food store found these 2 products:
Kiss My Face Castile Oil and Alaffia Hair Care.

Kiss My Face - Castile Soap

Take a look at these ingredients!
Aqua, Saponified Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Saponified Olea Europaea (Olive) Oil, Saponified Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Oil, Salvia Sclarea (Clary Sage) Essential Oil, Cymbopogon Schoenanthus (Lemon Grass) Essential Oil, Cellulose Gum  (You can get it in several scents.)

According to the web, castile soap started in the Castile region of Spain.  There they used a mixture of oils to make their soap.  This stuff is supposed to be good at cleaning anything.  From washing your food, your body and your laundry!  I look forward to trying this stuff out on my head, but I did try it on my bedroom furniture.  (It was time to dust and I wanted to see if this stuff worked on my wood furniture.)  Wow! It did work!  I put a few drops in the bathroom sink and filled it with water.  I then wet the rag and commenced dusting.   It did a fantastic job cleaning and the bedroom and bathroom have a great clean lemon smell.  The wood is still shining because of the oils in the soap.  (Forget Murphy's oil soap!)  I was so impressed that I used the same stuff to wipe down the bathroom counter and floor.    What impressed me most of all it that the rag I used was not stained with dirt.  The castile soap even removed the dirt and dust from the cleaning rag!!!! Ahh!

This stuff is really concentrated so I think I'll need to dilute it before using it as a shampoo.

 


Alaffia - Shea


Alaffia hair care relies on nut butters and oils.  Here is a list of ingredients.

Full Ingredients: Herbal infusion of Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus), Liquid African Black Soap (Distilled water, Saponified Shea (Butyrospermum parkii) Butter and Virgin Palm Kernel (Elaeis guineensis) Oil), Decyl Polyglucose (from corn), Vegetable Glycerin, Virgin Coconut (Cocos nucifera) Oil, Panthenol (pro-Vitamin B5), Essential Oil of Lavender, Fragrance

My hair is very coarse so I'm hopeful about this product.  But it's only for hair so you don't have the versatility like the other product provides.


Either way I'm excited to try both of these products.  The fewer the chemicals you put on the body, the less work your liver has to do to remove toxins from your system!

________________________

Here is an update!  I've been using the Alaffia Shea and my hair is incredibly soft.  My normally course dry hair feels really nice.  I've been using the one made for curly hair because I like the smell of sandalwood. 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Recipe: Getting dirty with Black Bean Burgers

Here is my accidental recipe for Black Bean Burgers!



Ingredients
2 cups of cooked black beans
1/2 cup chopped purple cabbage
1/2 cup chopped favorite greens (I used chard and radish greens)
1/4 cup chopped green onion
1 cup of oatmeal
3 tblsp chipotle seasoning (I used Mrs Dash)
optional: 10 paper towels
Serve with lettuce, tomato and chopped radishes.

Directions
1. Finely chop all of the veggies and in a large bowl mix in the chipotle seasoning.
2. Blend the black beans until smooth in a blender.
3. In the large bowl, mix the beans with the veggies and add the oatmeal until you can form the mixture into patties.
4. Lightly grease a pan with olive oil and heat the pan up to a medium heat.  Cook for about 2-3 minutes on each side until the burger starts to brown.

Use organics when possible to decrease your toxins. :)

Wow! These were fun to make but I really made a mess out of the kitchen trying this recipe for the first time!

So first I cook the beans. This isn't too hard to do.  I've started cooking beans in rice cookers so I can put them in and leave them until they are done.   We had a couple of bean incidents where beans were left on the stove. It took a month to get the burnt bean smell out of the kitchen!  Did you know you have to soak a pot in backing soda and vinegar to get the burnt smell out?
Anyway, so I solved that issue by cooking my beans in the rice cooker.  After about 45 minutes I came back to check on the beans...and the entire area surrounding the beans was covered in gray polka-dots!  The counter, floor, juicer, knives, everything within a foot of the rice cooker was sprayed with black bean liquid. I grabbed 4 paper towels and started wiping things down.  Ugh!  So I opened up the cooker to see if the beans were done and they were not.  At this point is was 6pm and everyone was getting hungry.  Mom warmed up some soup and I sprinkled some baking soda and chipotle spice in with the beans and covered them back up for 20 more minutes, and poured myself a glass of Merlot.

In 10 min I came back and put all of the veggies into the food processor, and transferred the veggies to a large mixing bowl.

In 20 min I came back and took the cooked beans and poured them into the food processor.  Whoa! Black liquid started to pool around the base and down the slides of the processor.  Note: drain the beans first and don't overfill the processor.  Well, the damage was done so I grabbed 4 more paper towels to catch the liquid and put the processor on high.  The beans whipped up fast and I then transferred that into the the large mixing bowl.  I had to use a spatula to get it all out and my hands were turning gray from the bean debris.  But it was soupy! I had too much liquid in the beans!
I grabbed the oatmeal  container, also speckled with gray, and started adding oatmeal until I could form the mess into paddies.  Of course I had to taste it at this point and it was bland!  Gray bean bland!  I grabbed the gray speckled bottle of chipotle seasoning and dumped the rest in.

I took the bowl over to the stove and realized I hadn't gotten my pan ready.  I grabbed 2 more paper towels to get the bean off of my hands and wipe down the stove top.  Then I heated my pan and started making patties.  Now the mixture looked great.  You have the blackness of the bean contrasted with the bright purple of the cabbage and green of the onions and greens.  It was a gorgeous site!  But, when you make the patties...it's like putting your hands into fresh soil.  By the time I was done, it looked like I had came from the yard, my hands covered in dirt and specs of dirt all over my t-shirt and jeans.  I suppose this would have been a good time to wear an apron.

The rest of the cooking and eating was easy and I got 2 thumbs up from my husband.  He of course smothered his patties in hot sauce but said the texture was perfect.
That was my adventure making the black bean burger for the first time!  Have fun making yours!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Pondering ProBiotics

My acupuncturist a few months back noted that I could probably use a probiotic in my diet.  My tongue was usually coated, but I had gone through such dramatic changes in my diet that I had no idea how to approach a probiotic.

After coming back from our cruise and learning about detox, I started looking into probiotics.  The basics are that these live cultures can work in your digestive system to help break down the foods and to help your liver process the toxins.  I read the best kind of probiotics are the ones in the capsules that give you the option of breaking it open and using the powder.   Websites also suggested getting one that is kept in your grocers refrigerated section, and one that contained more than 10 billion live cultures.

So I went to Sunflower Market and found about 40 different kinds of probiotics! Ahhh!
Probiotic overload.  Unfortunately for my husband he was shopping with me and had to wait as I quickly read through the labels to find the one that is gluten free and no fillers.  I settled upon this brand.  RAW  It was about mid-range in price and seemed to have a good mix of what I may need.

Well...I'm on week 2 of taking these and I'm not noticing a major difference.  I'm putting one capsule in my smoothie in the mornings,  I take one when I get home from work and one at night before going to bed.  The one at night I break open into a cup of water.  I do find that it cleanses my palate, however, my tongue is still has that coated appearance.   I'll keep taking them for a month and see if my digestion improves.

I've been pretty hard on my liver over the years.  From processed foods, cocktails and shots, ibuprofen and acetaminophen; I've made my liver work overtime!  My organs almost quit on me once!  So, now it's time to be good to the gallbladder, loving to my liver and kind to my kidneys.



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