Monday, June 06, 2011

Lavender & Rosemary Hair Rinse Recipe

Alright, there is a slight problem. I will be honest with you all...I don't remember exactly how I made this hair rinse (I had found a simple recipe on Google before and didn't bookmark it). But I will recall as best I can the way I made my rinse the first time.

My Recollection:

1) Put 1.5 cups water in a saucepan (I did 1.5 cups because of the size of my container)

2) Bring to boil
(if you have a water boiler you can skip that saucepan and just turn the boiler on to make the hot water)

3) Place 1 Tablespoon lavender and 1 Tablespoon rosemary in a heat proof container
(preferably glass or ceramic) (and I used dried herbs from the health food store)

4) Pour boiling water over the herbs and let them steep covered, I believe I waited about 15 minutes (the longer the herbs steep the stronger the rinse will be)

5) After steeping strain the herbs out of the rinse with a mesh strainer or a muslin cloth
(if I remember correctly I just used a paper towel)

6) Once cool the herb rinse can go in the desired container and be kept right in the shower, a spray bottle would be really handy but I keep mine in a little mustard container
(just like my ACV rinse)

7) I use this rinse about once or twice a week following my baking soda and ACV routine

Any herbs can be used in your hair rinse. I just chose Lavender and Rosemary for the qualities they possess. Different herbs do different things to your hair. A list can be found here or just Google useful hair herbs or something along those lines.

Also, something you can do is to make your ACV rinse and herbal rinse into one rinse. The reason I did not combine mine was because it was my first time making and using an herbal hair rinse so I just wanted to try it out. The following recipes combine the ACV and herbs into one easy rinse.

A few more recipes....

Ummm okay.. through my quick research here I noticed most people are refrigerating their herb mixes. I haven't refrigerated mine and as far as I know it has not gone bad. I tried to search if herb rinses spoil or not but I did not find a whole lot. To me it seems like a pain to keep it in the fridge when you are going to be needing it in the shower. I am sorry I don't have an answer to this dilemma, I am really wondering now. But I would suggest to keep an eye on your herbs and if it looks or smells funky make a new batch. Please let me know if you know the answer to this!

Saturday, June 04, 2011

GF Banket (attempt 1)

Today I headed out to the Grand Rapids farmers market with my Dad and little siblings after grabbing a tasty bite at Marie Catrib's. While there I spotted a vendor selling banket, a wonderfully delicious pastry that a family friend always made for us. It is SOOO GOOD. banket is a tube like pastry that has an outer crust and is filled with an almond paste on the inside (see pic below). Since I, along with my family, am gluten free I had to resist. However, when I got home I still had a craving. My solution = make gluten free banket using a gluten free recipe I find online. Good idea, problem was there were NO recipes for gluten free banket yet I still wanted it really bad. My next solution = make my own by following and modifying a normal banket recipe. I have never done a recipe modification (so obviously I really wanted some). Ohh and through my online searching I found out the banket is a Dutch pastry, West Michigan has a fairly large Dutch population so that might explain why I have had it.

There were a few bumps along the process and I had to think on my feet and trust my instincts but overall the banket turned out pretty darn good. I am not fully happy with the recipe and I intend to change it the next time I make it. In this recipe there are two whole sticks of butter, not something I like. Also, in the filling I used about a cup of coconut sugar, and while it is a low glycemic sweetener we usually never have to use more than 1/2 cup for recipes.
Yes, sweet success! As you can see one has already been eaten =)

The crust turned out crumbly and falls apart a little bit. I have included a picture so you can see the final product. I won't be posting the recipe until I experiment a little bit more and get a recipe that it more to my liking (if you really want to recipe I made today just leave a comment). I was just so very excited about my first recipe modification (and the fact that it worked) that I had to post =).

Friday, June 03, 2011

Deodorant: Natural vs. Name Brand

When I first decided to go shampoo free I was concerned about our baking soda and checked to make sure it did not have aluminum in it (it does not). After doing this my mom pointed out that if I was worried about aluminum getting into my body through my scalp, I should not continue using the same  deodorant. The active ingredient in pretty much all non natural deodorants is aluminum. How convenient. After attempting to switch to natural deodorant purchased at the health food store I realized why aluminum is used, because it works!

Let me first explain that when I first ever started using deodorant it took me FOREVER and countless deodorants to find one that worked. Don't ask why, I guess I just have picky underarms. Once I found one that did work, Sure unscented, I stuck to that one up until a couple weeks ago.

In making the switch to natural the search has been just as hard and I am still not satisfied. Just to clarify, when I say "doesn't work" I mean I smell at the end of the day. Gross right...girls aren't supposed to smell. So I have been very tempted to return to my old deodorant because it works so well. I am on my third type of natural deodorant and so far it is working the best but it still is not good enough.

The deodorants I have used so far are Toms of Maine Long-Lasting Unscented ($4.69),  Kiss My Face Active Enzyme Unscented ($5.99), and the one I am using now is Nutribiotic Unscented ($5.48). I have always used unscented deodorants because that is what has worked the best for me. Ohh and look at those prices compared to the one I used to use ($2.14), tempting to keep using it.

Toms price was better than the other two deodorants that I have tried so it is a good aluminum free, natural product, at a cheaper price. Also, it is available at big name stores, I picked mine up at Meijer grocery. Hops is the ingredient in this deodorant that stops odor causing bacteria from forming.

Kiss My Face is also available at big stores I believe, I am pretty sure I saw it at Meijer as well, but I got mine at a local health food store. My little sister uses the Kiss My Face brand for her deodorant and I know it has been working well for her, she may have a scented one. The Active Enzyme version of Kiss My Face deodorant contains vegetable enzymes, clay, and baking soda to help prevent odor.

Lastly, I have been using Nutribiotic. It seems to work a little better than the previous two but I still smell on some days which is not a fun spot to be in. The local health food store is where I got this brand and I do not think it is available at major grocery stores. Grapefruit seed extract, witch hazel, and aloe vera are the active ingredients in this deodorant, fighting bacterias that cause odor. 

Each of these deodorants contain slightly different ingredients to ultimately achieve the same goal of less sweat and odor. Finding the right ingredients to work with your body may take a little bit of searching or none at all. I do recommend going natural because heavy metals such as aluminum do not belong in our bodies.

*My underarms may be very different from yours so any of these products could work great for you, I am not bashing the products by saying they didn't work, I am just relaying my experience.*

It may sound like I am against natural deodorants because it is not working for me, but that isn't true. Just because something is easier doesn't mean it is always the best option. Many mainstream products just seem right because "that's what everyone else is doing", but you never know what else is out there until you venture away from the "norm". And it is not just for the sake of experimenting or fulfilling curiosity that I am trying new things or that you should try new things. If mainstream products were good for our bodies there would be no need to look elsewhere, but there can be many chemicals in body care products that consumers don't know about. I know that when I read a shampoo bottle I don't know what the ingredients are, a lot of them have long confusing names. Homemade and natural products help you to know exactly what you are applying to your skin and putting into your body.