Naturally Mama.

From one natural mama to another…

The No ‘poo Method of Hair-washing: Day One December 17, 2010

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I have really oily hair. It doesn’t matter what shampoo/conditioner I use, if I use conditioner at all, or how many times I lather, rinse and repeat… by the end of the day, my hair is oily in the front and I’ve usually pulled it into a ponytail or thrown it into a bun as to not openly share that fact with the world.

Recently, within the past 2 weeks, my scalp has also been itchy and flaky for the first time in my life. Huge flakes all over my head for all to see. My head was itchy all day long. I decided it was time to change what I was doing, yet I am not willing to pour dandruff and dry scalp chemicals on my head- regular shampoo/conditioner chemicals are bad enough.

I heard about the No ‘poo method of  cleansing your hair some time ago and I thought it was a little radical and I was very skeptical to even try it. How in the world was baking soda and water going to clean my hair when shampoo- suds and all- wouldn’t even do the trick? I needed something STRONGER, not weaker… right?

I saw a video on the Internet and it sounded easy. I had the ingredients right in my cupboard. I really had nothing to lose. So, I went for it. I mixed 1 TBS of Baking Soda with 1 cup of water into an old shampoo bottle. I then brought the apple cider into the shower with me (I was a little hasty and didn’t watch the whole video… it’s supposed to be diluted! lol) and poured that straight onto my scalp. I absolutely HATE the smell of vinegar, and I know I’m not alone in this. But the video promised that once you rinsed it out, it would not smell of vinegar.

So I shook up my no ‘poo mix and poured it onto my head. It just felt like cold water. I rubbed it all over my scalp and into my hair. It felt so good on my itchy scalp, but actually made it itch more at first. I let it sit for a minute and I rinsed. Then, it was time for the vinegar. I really wish I would have watched the whole video to see that you mix it with water! But instead, I poured it straight onto my head. It burned my sensitive scalp, but not in a painful way. It was VERY relieving. I let that sit for a minute also, and rinsed. Very, very well.

When I got out of the shower, I had my Husband smell my hair and he said it smelled like apple cider, not vinegar. I couldn’t smell vinegar either, and could hardly smell anything at all. If only the apple cider scent of the vinegar can be smelled after being applied undiluted (and it was a faint scent at that), then I’m sure it’s pretty much scent-less when diluted.

I blow-dried my hair afterwards (I had somewhere to be, otherwise I don’t usually blow-dry).  It was super soft when I brushed through it wet. It was clean and shiny after blowdrying it and brushing through/styling it. Stayed looking clean ALL DAY LONG. This morning,  it still was not oily. I have not itched my scalp since! I haven’t hopped back into the shower today yet, so we’ll see what it does to my hair over the coming weeks. So far, so good!


Organic and Natural DIY: From Dog Shampoo to Mascara December 14, 2010

Filed under: DIY Projects,Green Living,Home,Natural Living,Organic Living — Naturally Mama @ 7:21 am

I’ve compiled a list of some of some natural & organic DIY recipes. I haven’t tried most of them, but I plan to try almost all of them. Check ’em out- there are some great ideas!


“Shampoo and Conditioner” (no ‘poo)

Organic Facial

Face Wash- Oil Cleansing Method

Green Tea Facial Wash and Toner

Body Cream, Mineral Blush, Lip Balm and Face Mask

Natural Chapstick

Mineral Eyeshadow

Natural/Organic Mascara

Mineral Foundation



Organic Dog Food (that’s easy to make and inexpensive!)

Organic Squash Dog Cookies

Organic Flea Shampoo (Trying this tomorrow)

Organic Cat Food

Cat Treats


Wipes, Baby Powder, Wash and Baby Oil

Baby Wipes

Baby/Kids Mobile (Love this!)

Crinkle Tag Blanket

Diaper Changing Pad


Non-toxic Cleaning Kit

Various Types of Household Cleaners (Click through the arrows above the picture and look to the right of the page for recipes)

Wool Dryer Balls

Natural/Organic Carpet Cleaner

Organic Ant Traps

Organic Garden Pest Control

Non-toxic Air Freshener


Air Freshener

Eco-Friendly Car Wash

Have any recipes of your own to share?


Life Without a Microwave: 2 Weeks and Counting December 10, 2010

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So first, I want to admit a few of things in regards to getting rid of our microwave…

  1. When I first heard that microwaves are bad for your health, I chalked it up to a bunch of nonsense. Of course, this is before I researched it. So, I ‘knew’ about the health hazards for quite some time and simply ignored them while zapping my food to eatable temperatures.
  2. I didn’t think I could do it. How could we really get rid of the microwave? What about leftovers? And… lazy tea, lazy quesadillas, lazy… everything else?
  3. I was pretty sure my family was going to resist. My Daughter and her Dad are 2 peas in a pod: they bore both always right even when they’re wrong, and they both have a tendency to resist change. I had made a lot of recent modifications and eliminations in regards to our health and natural living. Sometimes I feel as though I might overwhelm them, even though I try to slowly introduce new ideas and ways of living.

So now that those confessions are out of the way, I am happy to report that I do not miss my microwave. I can’t believe how much better things taste cooked in the oven, a toaster oven or on the stove top. Things that I would usually heat up in a microwave would come out floppy, or hard in spots, or cold in some spots, hot/warm in others… no more! Food is cooked quickly, evenly and with better flavor!

The family was surprisingly easily converted. My Husband had his reserves at first, but transitioned beautifully! (Bravo, Honey) My daughter didn’t even really think much of it, as I mentioned the upcoming change a couple of times over the course of 2 of weeks to prepare her. So when she saw we made the switch, she didn’t complain and jumped right in to learn how to use it. Such a champ.

Also, an unintended bonus: You eat less ‘convenient’ crap without a microwave. You might think this would inconvenience you and be a lot of work, but I pretty much don’t buy anything frozen these days and it’s not much more work at all. And when you pass by that freezer section, you think twice- saving you money. I actually enjoy what I eat now and feel good about it.

Have you researched the effects of microwaves on your health? Here are some of the highlights:

  • Microwaves change the molecular structure of your food into something your body cannot properly recognize and break down.
  • Microwaves severely diminish nutrients in your food. Researchers found that after heating breast milk in a microwave, over 90% of disease protecting agents were eliminated. Same type of results with other foods.
  • Microwaving food causes biological effects such as destabilized metabolism, brain circuitry destruction, hormonal imbalances and brainwave disruptions.
  • Microwaved food has been linked to cancer and tumors.

The (horrific, in my opinion) list goes on. Here are a few good places to start in your research, which I hope you will do if you haven’t already. Let me know your thoughts and it if you decide to make the switch, keep me updated. I would love to know how goes!


Menu Planning Monday: Frugal Vegetarianism (One Day Late!) December 7, 2010

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I’m recently a second time around vegetarian and this time, vegetarianism is here to stay. I’m also not the best cook and very impatient when it comes to cooking (I’m working on this). I scour the Internet for cheap and easy vegetarian meals every week and it takes a lot of time! So I figured “Why not share what I come up with? Someone will find these useful.”

I hope I’m right 🙂

*I use almost all organic ingredients.

Monday: Yesterday, we had Spaghetti with whole wheat noodles, tomato and basil sauce (pre-made in a jar), whole wheat bread with butter and garlic seasoning, and steamed broccoli. I cut up fresh organic broccoli and freeze it in a large ziploc bag to have on-hand.

Tuesday: Veggie Burritos.

Wednesday: Parsley Fingerling Potatoes and Pasta E Fagoli with corn.

Thursday: Vegetarian Chili (my own recipe) and Golden Sweet Cornbread.

Friday: Pizza. The bad-for-you-kind.

Saturday: No-crust Quiche and French Bread, buttered and baked in the oven.

Sunday: Rice and Black Beans and Quinoa Salad (this recipe says red, but I’m using regular).

I would love feedback if this is something anyone can use. Feel free to leave me a comment!


Why I Became A Vegetarian November 29, 2010

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I have been a true vegetarian twice in my life. The first time, I was 11. It was more for ‘political’ reasons then, if you will. I realized that hamburger was ground-up innocent cows, and I decided that in a protest against such cruelty, I would no longer consume it or any other meat from any other animal. It lasted for a couple of years until one day when my Mom left me alone as she often did and there was nothing in the house but bologna. That round slab of mystery meat was the end of my first vegetarian days.

The next time I became a vegetarian was right around the time my son was born, in September of this year. Meat made me hurl every time I even thought about it while I was pregnant. I hardly ate any meat most of my pregnancy, and started eating other proteins like seeds and beans. I started reading about natural health, which lead me to read about meat consumption, which lead me to watch food documentaries, which lead me to become a vegetarian once more. I couldn’t have made a better decision and here’s why:

  1. I do not enjoy meat. Even when I ate meat for years, I would always have to ‘hide’ the meat in something else. I would mix it in with pasta or cover it with my mashed potatoes. I didn’t like how it looked, and didn’t much enjoy the taste. My main reason for consuming it was only to have a source of protein.
  2. I don’t trust meat. I don’t trust the source and I don’t trust the hormones and antibiotics. I especially don’t trust that it won’t somehow make me sick.
  3. It’s easier to eat healthier when I don’t eat meat. I stopped eating fast food months ago, but when I’ve thought about stopping somewhere like Subway when I was running late, that idea is quickly shot down when I think about the facts that A) I don’t eat meat and B) fast food chains don’t use organic produce what-so-ever.
  4. It was a natural progression. I started my path to natural and healthy living by deciding to buy organic. I started out by buying organic products I already used and realized that many foods and goods that I purchased were a waste, costing me money I didn’t have. I cut back on convenience foods, then cut back on milk (almost entirely eventually), then cut out meat. It’s easy to cut certain things out of my diet when I research how they can affect my health.
  5. It still feels like the right thing for my body. I feel different. I feel healthier. I probably eat more protein now than I did when I consumed meat, anyhow since I am no longer avoiding protein. I am more creative with my meals, incorporating healthy ingredients that I once would have never thought of. It’s a truly amazing journey thus far.

Are you vegetarian/vegan? What are your reasons for consuming meat or for not consuming meat?


The impact of food on your family November 23, 2010

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I remember growing up it was common practice to eat breakfast and dinner at the dining room table together. We very rarely ate fast food more than a couple of times a year and ate at a sit-down restaurant as a family only on special occasions. My Mother would cook pretty much everything from scratch and there were always raw, cut-up vegetables on our plates. Despite having 3 kids, she always found time to make nutritious, whole meals.

Times have changed and our food is becoming tainted with more and more chemicals every day. Pesticides, fungicides, hidden MSG and genetically modified ingredients are in pretty much all processed foods nowadays. Corn syrup has taken over and sugar is rarely seen as an ingredient in sweet, processed foods. Fast food is ground up animals, bones and all, bleached, dyed and smashed into patties of chicken. Antibiotics and hormones are pumping into our cows, making our milk and our meat more dangerous than ever. I am not over exaggerating or using these disgusting descriptions to make it look worse than it really is- this is just the beginning of what our food is becoming.

So what can we do to teach our children that this is not how ‘food’ is supposed to be? Food powers our bodies and our minds to LIVE. The food and water that we consume literally give us life and the ability to think and act cognitively and rationally. How are we supposed to have the energy we need to live our life productively, and the mental agility we need to be at our best when the sources we have to fulfill those things are of little nutritional value and their integrity has been compromised by chemicals and their genes have been changed into something other than our earth creator intended? We need to show our children that corn syrup-filled cereals and ‘processed pasteurized cheese product’ are not real foods and will do nothing to help our health.

With eating fast foods and quick easy to prepare pre-packaged ‘foods’, comes spending less time with the family in the kitchen and at the table. Less time to cook together. Even if it’s here or there, dinner is also spent separated from one another either physically or mentally more often. Think: When do you have time in your day, where everyone is gathered and winding down to fill their bellies, that you can stop and just be together? Dinner is the perfect time to enjoy each other’s company and connect what was not connected throughout the day. Dinner does not only need to be nutritious, whole foods. Dinner needs to be a connection with your family members that might not otherwise take place.

We need to continue to teach our children to cook nutritious meals with fresh organic produce and ingredients. We cannot sit back as our parents might have done with us- things were much different even just 10-15 years ago. Our parents didn’t have to warn us to choose our foods carefully and be sure to eat organically whenever possible. Our foods were healthier on top of us being oblivious to some of the now-known dangers. We need to teach our children what some of society doesn’t know about and most of society doesn’t seem to care about when it comes to food. We need to protect our food supply by speaking up when changes need to be made and demanding organic, sustainable and healthy foods. We must be conscious of what we consume. Not only can it have negative health impacts in so many ways, if we don’t do these things, it can have lasting and even permanent effects on our health and well-being.

The words you are what you eat were never more important as now. We need to instill health and wholesome foods in our children and they will do the same for theirs. We can change the food industry and our health one plate at a time.


Making the switch to cloth diapers… is it really worth it? November 19, 2010

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During my last pregnancy, I decided I was going to take better care of my body and my health. This blossomed into buying organic foods and natural cleaning products which in turn made me think about every single thing I did and how it affected my body and this earth. Not only my body, but the bodies and health of my Husband, daughter and soon-to-be-born son. Lots of changes and conscious decisions were to come.

One decision that I made was that I was not going to use disposable diapers. Nope. No way, no how. They are filling up landfills. Since disposable diapers were made in 1961, none of them have decomposed. They are full of toxic chemicals and known carcinogens. They cause diaper rashes and allergies. So, it was going to be cloth for us. But…  I was confused about how they worked. I was so accustomed to just undoing those handy velcro tabs on a disposable, slipping the diaper off, slipping a new one on and then the old one was the trash man’s job. I was also confused about how to wash cloth diapers, too. Special detergents, extra rinse cycles and something called ‘stripping’…? This is where I begin to ask myself: “Is it really going to be worth it? Can I even do this?”

I figured I could handle that stuff later. With the Internet these days, you can pretty much figure out anything, right? …And how sad would it be if I couldn’t figure out how to use a DIAPER? So, I pushed my confusion and insecurities aside. It was time to check out what was available in the cloth diaper market.

After looking around online I was extremely surprised, first of all, how many brands and patterns there were. I mean, some of these diapers are stinkin’ adorable! Skulls, leopard print, hot pink and electric blue… Pretty much any color or patten I desired, it was available. My next surprise in store was how many different types there were. Old-style pre-folds with covers, fitted diapers with covers, all-in-ones (just like a disposable, but you wash it), all-in-twos (just the like all in one but the cover comes apart and you don’t have to change to cover with every diaper change)… some of them had an insert that went inside a pocket, and there were also some made of wool called ‘soakers’. There were so many different styles! Velcro, buttons, snaps… it was a little overwhelming.

My third surprise: sizing. There were different sizes and there were also one-size diapers (which I was really excited to learn about!) that adjusted with snaps from 8lbs-35ish lbs. The surprises didn’t end there. These diapers cost anywhere from $10 to $35. EACH! For the sake of our tight little family budget, his is where I really had to evaluate: “Was this truly going to be worth it? Is this something that I want to do?” I did not want to buy these diapers if they were going to sit in a closet. I knew they would save us so much money and wouldn’t contribute to hurting the environment. I knew that if so many other moms could do it, so could I.

So, I took the plunge. I bought 8 Bumgenius diapers. I chose Bumgenius over some more stylish diapers because A) I got a really good deal on them and B) a friend of mine used nothing but BG, raved about them and brought hers over to my house and showed me how to use them. It was a comfort zone thing for me, I guess. So, the diapers sit for a few months since my son’s still in my belly. I prepared myself: read washing instructions, how to put them on, take them off, strip them when needed, etc. I was prepared!

Or so I thought. Fast forward a few months and I’m in early labor. I’m trying to be sure that I have everything ready for my baby, and I think about diapering. I remember all we have is cloth get overwhelmed. I start to panic a little and wonder if they will even fit him. My daughter was only 6 lbs when she was born and the diapers say 8 lbs+! “Honey, get to the store now! Buy some diapers!”, I yell. “‘I’ll let the initial new baby phase run its course and then I will try cloth”, I thought to myself. A month passed and he was still in disposables. I looked at them every now and again, with an inkling of guilt I might add, as I’m folding baby clothes in my son’s room and then I feel overwhelmed again. We had a lot going on and I figured I shouldn’t add another element to it all. I would try soon.

By the middle/end of the next month, I decided I was ready. I put one on and it fit him just fine. And looked so cute! I started with him in cloth for a couple of diapers a day and went up from there. I have to admit that all of my worry and apprehension regarding cloth diapers makes me feel a bit silly now, looking back. It’s easy, convenient and I feel good doing it. I still don’t have enough cloth diapers to exclusively cloth diaper him full time just yet, but now that I’ve washed quite a few loads of them, handled pee and poop (which isn’t really that gross just yet because to me, breastfed baby poop smells like cheese anyway), I can’t wait to build up my stash 🙂 I look at other mom’s cloth diaper stashes online and get so excited to buy more. Full time cloth diapering, here I come!

For those of you who are confused about cloth diapering, have questions or don’t understand how they work or what you need, I’ve compiled a few wonderful sites below full of easy-to-read and understand information. Enjoy!


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