Adventures in Living a Natural Lifestyle

Sharing my adventures in living a more natural lifestyle, information about essential oils and natural home, health, and beauty recipes!


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“New and Improved” with toxic chemicals and no longer my perfect mascara

**Note: It’s taken me awhile to write this blog because honestly I wondered whether I even wanted to after getting down and dirty with my research and learning more about this “new and improved” product.  But after much consideration I realized that goes against what I was hoping to do with writing reviews of natural products.  I felt I owed it to myself and my followers to write an honest review and let you know how disappointed I am in this company.  With that said, please keep in mind when you read the following post that the company I’m referring to is an MLM (direct sales) and there are many people, a lot of whom are Work At Home Moms (WAHM) who depend on the sales from this company to provide for their families.  I do not believe this formula change in any way is a reflection of the women who work so hard representing this company.  If you have a friend who is a presenter, please continue to provide love and support for them.  I encourage you to reach out and contact the company if you are as disappointed in their changes as I am.  I for one will be sending them links to both my original product review and this one so they can see how their decisions impact their customers. Maybe they will listen and have a change of heart, maybe they won’t. But we never know until we try. 

 

So back in May I wrote a blog called I’ve found my perfect (naturally based, cruelty-free) mascara! It was by far my biggest blog post to date! Well, after three months any girl knows it’s time to replace your mascara.  We had a good run but I knew it was time because my gel was getting clumpy and I found that by the end of the day my mascara was kind of flaking off.  So I hit up my friend and trusted Younique presenter, to re-order.

In the 3 months from my original order and blog post to the day I got my new mascara Younique had reformulated their Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lash Mascara.  Now I am historically very resistant to change.  I find a product I love and I tend to stick with it.  But alas, my beloved mascara went the way of the bras I love (Am I the only one who buys my bras in every color because inevitably it will be discontinued by the time I go bra shopping again!?! Surely not. But I digress…) and I was faced with a decision, trust Younique and my dear friend that the new product is every bit as good as the last or start the search all over again.  So I practiced my cognitive restructuring and positive thinking skills (yay for listening to the advice I give client’s every single day!) and set my anxiety aside to try out the new formula.

I was super excited when I got my package in the mail and immediately tossed my old mascara before snapping some pics to show you the differences.  Thankfully, my Younique friend had some comparison pics and allowed me to use them as part of my blog.

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When you first open up your Younique package you’ll immediately see a difference between the old packaging and the new.  The old packaging was this hard case that was wrapped in plastic (top).  The new packaging has a fancy cut out box with the mascara inside (bottom).

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While I am pleased that they did away with the bulky, unnecessary hard case that the mascara used to come in (top) I feel like what they gained by minimizing the materials for the case they lost by adding the fancy cut out box (see previous pic).  So from an eco-friendly perspective they still leave something to be desired with the mascara packaging.  I’d love to see them minimize their mascara’s carbon footprint a bit in the future by doing away with the cardboard box.   It does have some, very minimal, application instructions which could be easily tucked inside the shipping package.

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I admit I do like the more modern, streamlined look of the new containers (right).  Plus, I really like that they new containers have a clear spot in them so you can see when your gel or fibers are starting to get a bit low and it’ll give you an idea of when you will need to reorder.

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They also changed the wand shape.  I’ll be honest, I didn’t love the shape of the old wand (top).  I felt like I was always making more of a mess than I ever did with my old mascara.  But truthfully, the new design didn’t seem to help my mess at all, so pretty sure that’s just operator error at this point. (I have, however, learned that I can take a q-tip with just the slightest bit of fractionated coconut oil on it and wipe off any of the mess I make easily!) I’m pretty sure the new wand is designed to be used such that the large part of the brush hits the lashes on the outermost part of your eye.  This makes sense and presumably helps curl them upwards a bit.  While great in theory, I fail somewhat in execution.  I can do my right eye easily but just can’t contort my hand enough to use it this way on my left eye.  Doesn’t seem to matter too much though.

 

Younique changed more than just appearances though.  They also “enhanced” their gel and fiber formulas. Here’s where you should always read your ingredients before you order.  Here’s the old ingredient list:

“Old” Transplanting Gel Ingredients: Water, Beeswax (Natural Propolis), Carnauba (Brazilian palm glue), Iron Oxide Cl 77499 (Black), Collagen, Acrylates Copolymer, Nylon, Stearic Acid, Propylene Glycol.  See my previous blog post I’ve found my perfect (naturally based, cruelty-free) mascara! for a breakdown of these ingredients.

Nine ingredients.  All of which I could live with.  Here’s the new list of ingredients (new ingredients in italics):

“New” Moodstruck Transplanting Gel Ingredients: Water/Eau, Butylene Glycol, Iron Oxides (Ci 77499), Acrylate Copolymer, Stearic Acid, Polyvinylalcohol, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Tromethamine, Beeswax, Bentonite, Microcrystalline Wax, Glyceryl Stearate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Alcohol, Allantoin, Silica, Dimethicone, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Phenoxyethanol, Ppg-2-Deceth-30, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Dehydroacetate

Seriously!?! They went from 9 ingredients to 23!?! And not only that, they added alcohol(s), Silicones, and Sulfates??? All ingredients I’ve tried desperately to throw out of my beauty and hygiene routine. Honestly, the ingredient list is now worse than my old school Cover Girl mascara ingredient list. Le sigh. Here’s a breakdown of all the new ingredients from Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Skin Deep Database:

  • Butylene Glycol – On the ingredient list, Butylene Glycol is described as a humidifying and delivery ingredient.  According to the EWG, Butylene Glycol is a small organic alcohol used as solvent and conditioning agent.  It has limited data but the overall hazard rating is only a 1 (out of 10).  I can live with that.
  • Polyvinylalcohol – On the ingredient list, Polyvinyalcohol is described as a gel acts as a film former and binder, and helps improve endurance of the product.  According to EWG, Polyvinylalcohol is a polymer of vinyl alcohol crosslinked with glyoxal that acts as a bulking agent.  They have no real data on this ingredient but the overall hazard ratting is only a 1. Again I can live with this but another alcohol?
  • Tromethamine – On the ingredient list, Tromethamine is described as a neutralizer to control the pH balance of the Transplanting Gel.  According to EWG, Tromethamine is an aliphetic compound commonly used as a fragrance ingredient, pH adjuster, for buffering or as a masking ingredient.  It has a fair bit more data on it than the previous two ingredients and is listed as a 2 for overall hazard.  So still, not too concerning.
  • Bentonite – Here’s another ingredient I’m actually happy to see on the list because not only do I know what it is and that it is non toxic but it’s naturally based and an ingredient I can pronounce.  Bentonite is an absorbent clay often used in DIY and naturally based beauty products.  Younique states that they add Bentonite to their Transplanting Gel to help absorb oils and as a thickening agent.  Cool! Why can’t they add more stuff like this!
  • Microcrystalline Wax – On the ingredient list, Micorcrystalline Wax is described as a highly refined wax and gives products a more solid texture.  According to EWG, Microcrystalline wax is a hydrocarbon wax derived from petroleum and often used as a binder, bulking agent, emulsion stabilizer, and viscosity increasing agent.  It has limited data available but does have a low overall hazard score of 1.  But petroleum is generally something I avoid in my beauty products as it is comedogenic (meaning tends to cause acne breakouts) and there is some concern that it could be linked with skin cancer.  Not sure how I feel about a petroleum derivative…
  • Glyceryl Stearate – Glyceryl Stearate is a lipid used in cosmetics as a surfectant and emulsifying agent. The name is hard to pronounce and sounds scary but overall this ingredient is thought to have a low risk of toxicity and environmental impact.  EWG rates it a 1 for low risk due to limited data.
  • Cetearyl Alcohol – Cetearyl Alcohol is a mixture of cetyl and stearyl alcohols that can come from vegetable or synthetic sources.  Younique adds it to their mascara as a thickener and an emulsion stabilizer. I usually try to avoid products with alcohol in them because of the skin drying properties of alcohol.  Younique claims to be naturally derived but I would be curious where they source their cetearyl alcohol from since it can also be synthetically derived.
  • Alcohol – According to Younique, alcohol acts as an anti-foaming agent and helps to decrease sticky residue.
  • Allantoin – Allantoin is a naturally occurring nitrogenous compound used as a skin conditioning agent.  However, according to PETA’s Caring Consumer, while also found in plants (like comfrey) this ingredient is derived from uric acid which is often harvested from animals, specifically cow urine.  So if it’s a vegan product you are after, you may want to write Younique and find out exactly where their allantoin is sourced from. That said, it is not suspected of being hazardous to health or an environmental toxin and again gets a rating of 1 on EWG’s Skin Deep Database.
  • Silica – Silica is the most common constituent of sand.  It is added to the gel as an absorbent powder and acts as a thickening agent.  Since it’s not being used in an aerosol product the concern for Silica as an ingredient is low.
  • Dimethicone – Dimethicone is a silicon-based polymer used as a lubricant and conditioning agent.  Younique claims to add it to their transplanting gel because it slows the loss of water from the skin by forming a barrier on its surface.  But part of my crunchy granola motivations in living a more natural lifestyle was to eliminate sulfates, parabens, and silicones from my beauty and hygeine products and yet here is a company I trusted adding it as a new ingredient! What’s worse is according to EWG, the Environment Canada Domestic Substance List classifies Dimethicone as “expected to be toxic or harmful” and as a suspected environmental toxin earning it a rating of 3, or Moderate Hazard, on the Skin Deep Database.
  • Hydroxyethylcellulose – Hydroxyethylcellulose is a modified cellulose polymer; used as a gelling and thickening agent.  It’s another ingredient that sounds scary because no one can pronounce it but its assumed risk is low.
  • Phenoxyethanol – Phenoxyethanol has a moderate risk of skin allergies and immunotoxicity, earning it a rating of 4 for Moderate Risk on EWG’s Skin Deep Database.  Japan has even restricted the concentration of phenoxyethanol used in Japanese cosmetics.  Younique has chosen to add it to their formula as a preservative and to help prevent microbial growth and spoiling.  But if it wasn’t necessary in the old formula, why is it necessary now?
  • Ppg-2-Deceth-30 – Okay, so how alarming is this? Ppg-2-Deceth-30 wasn’t even listed in the Skin Deep Database, but I was able to find it under EWG’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning where it rated a C due to Some Concern for asthma and respiratory issues, skin allergies and irritation, developmental and reproductive toxicity (including the potential for genetic defects), cancer risk, and environmental concerns! Apparently it’s used as a sufactant and an emulsifying agent in some cleaning agents. Younique uses it to help stabilize liquid formulations, but why?  I wouldn’t want this in my cleaning products let alone a beauty product I use near my eye!
  • Ethylhexyglycerine – Ethylhexylglycerin is a glyceryl ether used as a weak preservative and skin conditioning agent which, while still rating a low score of 1 on the Skin Deep Database, does have the potential for irritation and toxicity of the eye according to the European Union, Classification & Labelling division.  And yet, Younique has added this ingredient to their mascara!?! A product used around the eye!  They claim that it is added as a skin conditioning agent that helps deliver and preserve the formula of their new transplanting gel but I have to wonder why they couldn’t have found an alternative means of preserving the product.  It does appear that the old formulation used Propelyne Glycol as a a humidifying and delivery agent.  An ingredient that did have a higher rating of concern in the database and that Younique chose to get rid of.  While I’m pleased with that choice it seems they replaced it with several other concerning ingredients thus nullifying the relief I might have felt otherwise.
  • Sodium Laureth Sulfate – I admit, I’m most alarmed with the decision to add Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) to Younique’s new transplanting gel formula.  I’ve spent years trying to rid my shampoo, body wash, soap, and other home, health, and beauty products of this ingredient and yet here it is showing up in my mascara! Why do I feel so strongly about SLES?  Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) are strong detergents and sufactants that are often used in shampoo and other body cleansers to help create a lather and increase the effectiveness of their cleaning power.  In fact, they are so effective at cleaning that these ingredients are commonly found in industrial cleaning agents such as engine degreaser and industrial strength detergents. It’s also widely known as a skin irritant!  EWG’s Skin Deep Database rates SLES as a 3, or Moderate Risk, due to strong evidence that it is a skin and eye irritant.  There are also contamination concerns that SLES could contain Ethylene Oxide (which rates a 10, or the highest possible hazard due to being a known carcinogen with organ toxicity and cancer risk) as well as 1-4 Dioxane (which rates an 8, or High Hazard, and another possible carcinogen). Younique’s website claims that SLES was added as an emulsifying agent.  But why in the world would they need to add such a controversial ingredient to a product that quite frankly worked better before being reformulated!?!
    • I pointed this ingredient specifically out to my friend and Younique presenter who contacted support. This is what she was told: Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is not actually part of the formula for 3D Fiber Lashes+; however, it is used as a processing aid in the production of an ingredient in the formula, and, as such, European Union policies require the placement of Sodium Lauryl Sulfate on the label panel.  She was told there are several ingredients listed for this same reason.
    • She pressed the issue and was told by Bryce H from Younique Support that “Unfortunately, I would not be able to answer that as I do not have the needed information, however I can transfer you via email to a Product Related Specialist. Would that be okay?” She asked to be transferred to a product specialist and never received any new explanation of why Younique would choose to use SLES in the manufacturing of a product, despite pointing out that it didn’t seem safe or “in the best interest of our customers.” I have to say, customer service is huge to my (another reason why I love Young Living) and I’m very disappointed that Younique doesn’t care enough about their presenters to give them more information to settle the mind of a concerned customer.
  • Sodium Dehydroacetate – Sodium Dehydroacetate is an antimicrobial ingredient used as preservative.  According to EWG there is moderate concern over toxicity when used in products designed for the lips or around the mouth.  Overall it rates a 1 on the database, however, so the concern is low for this ingredient.

They also  changed the ingredients in the fibers.  One of the bigggest reason I liked the old formula was that the fibers were 100% natural derived from green tea.

“Old” Natural Fibers Ingredients: 100% Natural Fibers taken from Green Tea.

One ingredient.  Just ONE! But now they’ve replaced that one ingredient with 9.  Seriously!?! Again, I feel like we are going backwards here.  Here are the “new” fiber ingredients:

“New” Moodstruck 3D Fibers Ingredients: Rayon, Carbon Black CI77266, Squalane, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate (Vitamin C), Iris Pallida Leaf Cell Extract, Ubiquinone (CoQ10), Caprylic Capric Triglyceride, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate

According to Younique, the new fibers are coated in Younique’s Uplift Eye Serum which is what adds all the extra ingredients to the fiber list.  But I have to wonder, why is this necessary?  Here’s the breakdown of these ingredients according to EWG’s Skin Deep Database:

  • Rayon – Rayon is a composition of synthetic fibers and filaments composed of regenerated cellulose.  Younique puts a nice spin on it stating on their website that their Rayon is “made from plant cellulose, is environmentally friendly and made of biodegradable material that delivers longer-looking lashes and increased volume.” I’m not really worried about rayon though, it doesn’t particularly have any risk concerns.
  • Carbon Black CI77266 – Carbon Black CI77266 is a fine black powder used as a colorant in cosmetics.  It’s not even listed in EWG’s Skin Deep Database but was commonly listed as an ingredient in other products during a cursory Google search.  I did find out, however, that there is a potential for eye irritation and as of January 2014 the Nanotechnologies Industry Association (NIA) was calling for the Scientific Community on Consumer Safety to revisit their ruling that Carbon Black CI77266 was safe in it’s nano form.  You can read more about that here: http://www.cosmeticsdesign-europe.com/Regulation-Safety/Nano-industry-calls-for-another-look-at-carbon-black 

The ingredients below are the added ingredients due to coating the fibers in Younique’s Uplift Eye Serum:

  • Squalane – Squalane is a naturally occuring lipid in both plants and animals often used in lubricating creams and lotions.  It is assumed to be a low risk and rated a 1 on EWG’s database.  However, Squalane is listed in the PETA’s Caring Consumer guide as primarily derived from animals, especially shark liver oil.  According to Younique, their squalane is sourced from Sugarcane and is added to their fibers to help with cell support.
  • Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E) – I used Vitamin E all the time in my DIY beauty products so I never would’ve considered giving this another thought except I was looking up all the other ingredients so thought I would look this one up too.  Apparently, Vitamin E in it’s form Tocopheryl Acetate (other forms include: alpha-tocopherol, tocopherol, tocotrienol) warrants a rating of a 3, or Moderate Hazard, on the EWG’s Skin Deep Database due to potential for allergies and immunotoxicity as well as the potential of contamination with Hydroquinone, which is rates a 9 (out of 10) or High Hazard due to being a skin irritant and is restricted in use in cosmetics.
  • Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate (Vitamin C) – According to Younique Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate has “multi-functional properties provides antioxidants, nutrition, and other age-defying benefits and is already present in our bodies and skin.” It is presumed to be relatively low risk, rating a 1 for Low Hazard by the EWG.
  • Iris Pallida Leaf Cell Extract – Another ingredient not listed in EWG’s Skin Deep Database but a quick internet search indicates that Iris Pallida Leaf Cell Extract is of limited health concern. Younique claims it helps provide a more youthful appearance.
  • Ubiquinone (CoQ10) – The chemical name, Ubiquinone, sounds scary but is a skin conditioning agent with a low overall concern. In fact, CoQ10 is a popular supplement taken to promote cell growth and maintenance.
  • Caprylic Capric Triglyceride – Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride is a mixed triester of glycerin and caprylic and capric acids often used as a skin conditioning agent.  It rates a 1 or Low Hazard on EWG’s database.
  • C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate – C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate is composed of benzoic acid and long-chain (C12-15) alcohols and is primarily used as a skin conditioning agent.  It also rates a 1 for Low Hazard but has limited data available.

I had already spent my hard earned money on the product so I decided to go ahead and use it.  Plus, I didn’t do my research (shame on me) until I was well beyond the 14 day “Younique Love It Guarantee” and couldn’t get my money back and as y’all know I don’t really wear much makeup and had already decided I wasn’t ever going to buy the Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lash Mascara ever again (unless they reformulate it or even better go back to the old formula) so a product credit wouldn’t do me any good… So, in case you were still wondering, below is my impression of the new formula after using it for awhile.

This was after my first couple attempts.  I was pretty bummed because I really didn’t like how clumpy my eyelashes looked.  It wasn’t so bad when it wasn’t a close up photo and once I had my glasses on but I really wanted a more natural look.  So I sent a message to my friend and Younique presented and asked for some advice.  Here’s what she said:

So the new formula has a different gel and it takes a little getting use to. I like to thin mine out a little bit with rose water. I prefer a thinner, wetter mascara. And I scrape a lot of the gel off by pulling the wand out at an angle. Then I do a thin layer of gel one eye first then fibers. I pack the fibers down on the wand and apply only to my tips then move to the next eye with gel. After I do fibers on the second eye I deal with gel on the first.

I suppose it’s telling when even the presenter doesn’t love the new formula, but that’s what I love about her – she’s honest and not just trying to sell you on a product.

I had heard a lot of buzz lately about adding Lavender essential oil to your mascara in the oily community.  Apparently it is supposed to help strengthen and lengthen your lashes and keep lash mites away.  I didn’t have any rosewater as my friend suggested but thought the Lavender eo might just do the trick so I added 2 drops to my new tube of the Fiber Lash gel. When adding any liquid to your mascara, do NOT pump your wand up and down but rather swirl it around to mix the oil and the mascara up.  Pumping your wand in your container adds air and will dry your mascara up quicker (and if you’re buying any high $ mascara you want to make it last as long as possible!).

So much better after adding the Lavender eo! I’ll be honest, even if I didn’t have the concerns I do about the lengthening list of potentially toxic ingredients, I much preferred the old formula.  While I still love the length I can add to my lashes, which really makes my eyes pop, especially when I have my glasses on, I’m really disappointed in Younique’s decision to reformulate their Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lash Mascara.  What drew me to the company to begin with was that they prided themselves in being  naturally based and cruelty free.  But I feel like they are straying from their values by adding potentially toxic ingredients.

Do you use Younique’s 3D Fiber Lash Mascara? What do you think of the new formula? Share your review below for readers to see!

Do you have a natural, non-toxic, cruelty-free (and bonus if it’s Vegan for some of my readers) brand of mascara? I’d love to know what it is so I can try it out.  Extra bonus points if it’s a drug store brand that won’t cost me half my paycheck.

I also ordered some of Younique’s Bb cream to try out at the same time I ordered the new mascara.  I’ll do a separate blog post on that soon so keep your eye out for it! Don’t want to miss any posts? Be sure to follow my blog by clicking on the link below my picture!

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10 Day Detox: My Daily Journal and Meal Plan

If you follow my blog you’ve already seen my recent blog posts My New Adventure: The 10 Day Detox and Oily Support for Healthy Weight Management: A Supplement to My 10 Day Detox.  If you haven’t already, please check out my two previous blogs for more info on the detox itself and how I’m using essential oils to provide support on my detox adventure. This post is my daily journal and meal plan for those who are interested to know exactly what I did, my progress along the way, and my ultimate results.

As much as I don’t like following pre-made meal plans that come with diets I did make my own Meal Plan before I started my detox to help with grocery shopping and help the hubby, who is the primary cook in the house, know what to cook that would be allowed given the restrictions of the detox.  But I’ll tell you this, be flexible.  I wound up getting sick in the middle of my detox and we altered the meal plan significantly from it’s original plan to what you see below.  Figures that the week that I really try to start getting healthy and focus on me is the week that I get sick after almost 2 years of being overall healthy and not needing a Dr.  I tried desperately to avoid taking any medication since I was on a detox and trying to get sugar and other toxins out of my system but here’s the thing, when you need medicine, you need it.  I’m a firm believer in Western Medicine, but with a holistic approach.  When the oily remedies aren’t helping or the pain is bad enough it’s time to rely on medicine.  I just think that overall we tend to over-Rx and overuse medicine without first looking for other solutions.

So without further ado, here is my daily journal and what I ate.  I will share my results at the end.

Day 1: Monday, September 21, 2015

We went shopping over the weekend and stocked up on lots of healthy fruits, veggies, lean meats, healthy fats, and other ingredients to get started off right this morning.  I also ordered a Glucomannan fiber  supplement from Amazon which arrived on Sunday.  I forgot to discuss this in my intro blog to the 10 Day Detox but Dr. Hyman recommends adding Glucomannan, what he calls the “super fiber” supplements to your daily regimen as a way to get your daily fiber intake and promote a feeling of fullness.  Glucomannan comes from the root of the Konjac, or Elephant yam, native to Asia.  It is making it’s rounds through the weight loss circles because it can absorb up to 50x it’s weight in water which helps promotes satiety and pushes more calories through your colon rather than letting them be absorbed and lowers the energy density of the foods you eat.  Which is basically a fancy way of saying that it fills your stomach up with zero calorie fiber so you feel more full and don’t overeat or aren’t tempted to keep eating after you’ve already eaten your allotted amount for your meal. This was important to me because portion control is a really difficult thing for me to master and I have concerns that I will feel super hungry by cutting so many things out of my diet for this detox.  My goal is to take between 1-3 Glucomannan supplements approximately 30 minutes before meal times per the recommended dosage. (Read more about Dr. Hyman’s thoughts on Glucomannan here: The Super Fiber that Controls Your Appetite and Blood Sugar)

So, armed with a fridge full of healthy food and my new fiber supplement I geared up to face my day.  First thing in the morning I weighed myself and took measurements of my bust, under my bust, my waist, hips, thighs and upper arms just so I had a point of comparison.  Even though I am doing this detox to help break my sugar addiction rather than to specifically lose weight, I certainly wouldn’t complain if I lose some weight along the way so thought it would be nice to have some objective data. Oddly enough, I was at my lowest weight since well before I got pregnant with my daughter when I started the detox!  I did pretty good sticking to my original meal plan that I had set for myself.  I did skip my afternoon snack because I elected to take off work early to go visit family.  Overall I’m impressed with my resolve.  But it’s always easy the first day of any new diet because you are super excited and optimistic about the results.  I did have a pretty major craving after dinner but was able to resist. We shall see if I can keep it up.  I did have a little bit of a headache around my morning snack and again before bed. Wasn’t super bad and I was able to help minimize the discomfort with my Headache Remedy roll-on essential oil combo.

Day 1 Meals:

a.m. – 1 Glucomannan supplement and 8 oz of water when I first woke up

Breakfast – Smoothie.  Dr. Hyman’s detox breakfast smoothie didn’t sound super appealing to me and I had heard many people say that they didn’t care for the taste so I found an alternative breakfast smoothie recipe from Smart and Savvy Mom’s blog when she did the 10 Day Detox.  Here is her Strawberry, Banana, Almond Smoothie recipe.  I modified it slightly by using Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk instead of the Soy Coconut Milk that she used as I didn’t want the added sugar since that was my main issue.  I also added 1 tsp of Brewer’s Yeast and 1 Tbsp of Flax meal to my smoothie to help keep my milk supply up since my caloric intake would be decreasing without all the added sugar.

8:00 a.m. – 20 oz water.  Since I didn’t have my essential oils order in yet to do my Oily Support supplements I added 2 drops of Grapefruit oil to my water to help boost my metabolism and keep my blood sugar within normal limits.

Morning snack – 1-2 servings of mixed nuts (Seriously, 1/4 cup of nuts is almost nothing!)

11:30 a.m. – 1 Glucomannan supplement (made sure to drink a fair bit of my water from that morning when I took it)

Lunch – Salad with tuna.  I threw together a bunch of salad ingredients that I liked all of which are included on this cheat sheet to Dr. Hyman’s Super Salad Bar.  For dressing I just used my homemade balsamic vinaigrette but you could pretty much use any oil and vinegar based homemade dressing recipe you wanted. I also had another 20 oz water with Grapefruit eo with my lunch.

3:00 p.m. – Left work early to go visit family so didn’t have an afternoon snack.  Did however have another 8 oz of water before I left.

5:00 p.m. – 1 Glucomannan supplement and 20 oz of water.

Dinner – Baked chicken, sauteed kale, steamed green beans, and side salad with balsamic vinaigrette.  Finished my water from before my meal.

Total Water Consumption = 76 oz

Day 2: Tuesday, September 22, 2015

I know I said I wasn’t doing this for weight loss and that you should never weigh yourself daily because of natural weight fluctuations but I totally couldn’t help it and weighed myself this morning.  Down almost 2 pounds in 24 hours! Say what!?!  Probably just a fluke or normal weight fluctuations but hey, I’ll take it.  Hope I get some good results by the end of this!

My Essential Rewards oils shipment came last night so before bed I got to make my Oily Support supplements in anticipation of today.  I was super excited to add NingXia Red and my new oily supplements to my routine today.  I decided to up my Glucomannan from 1 supplement to 2 to see if that helps promote more of a feeling of fullness today.  Totally forgot to take it before lunch.  Need to figure out a good way to help me remember.  My biggest struggle today was that I woke up with a headache that has pretty much persisted throughout the day.  Even though I didn’t drink a whole lot of caffeine I did drink 1-2 cups of coffee daily.  I wonder if I’m having caffeine withdrawal headaches? It’s possible it could be sinus stuff too.  My poor little booger is living up to her name and has been super congested, snotty, and generally under the weather so I may be fighting off whatever she has.  Either way, the Headache Remedy roll-on is helping some but not a lot and I’m resistant to the idea of taking medication since the whole point of a detox is to rid your body of toxins.  Will see how long I can handle it before I give in. But, no sugar cravings today!

Day 2 Meals:

5:30 a.m. – 2 Glucomannan supplements and  1 Oily Support supplement with 8 oz water; 1 oz shot of NingXia Red with 1 drop DiGize added (I find it’s best to add the essential oil first then add the NingXia red – otherwise the oil sits on top and DiGize can be a bit hot on the lips).

Breakfast – Smoothie with Brewer’s Yeast and Flaxseed Meal added

8:00 a.m. – 20 oz water

Morning snack – probably more like 3-4 servings of mixed nuts… I portioned out a small amount but still felt hungry so I portioned out another bit.  Going to have to work a bit more on self-control.

11:30 a.m. – totally forgot my Glucomannan supplements

Lunch – Salad with leftover chicken and balsamic vinaigrette. 10 oz water with 4 drops of Slique Essence essential oil blend

2:00 p.m. – 20 oz water

Afternoon snack – raw veggies (carrots, sugar snap peas and bell peppers) with hummus

5:00 p.m. – 20 oz water

7:30 p.m. – 2 Glucomannan and 1 Oily support supplements with 8 oz water

Dinner – baked salmon and leftover kale and green beans from last night. 20 oz water. Ate later than I wanted to but our daughter got sent home sick and hubby (who usually cooks for the family) wasn’t able to prepare food before I got home from supervision because she was being super needy all afternoon and evening.

Total Water Consumption = 96 oz

Day 3: Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Down another pound today! Woo-hoo! I seriously can’t stay off the scale now and that’s counter to my entire philosophy.  I really think obsessing over numbers on the scale is a bad idea in any diet or lifestyle change, but alas… here I am.

Our daughter is home sick today so I called in to stay home and snuggle with her.  Threw my routine off a little bit but I was pleased overall with how well I ate even though I had a bunch of food not on my diet plan staring me in the face all day.  Honestly, I didn’t have any cravings for junk until right before bed.  That time of night is pretty much my Achilles heel it seems.  Did well and resisted though.  Go me! Headache not as intense as yesterday and was intermittent instead of persisting throughout the day. Thinking it’s caffeine withdrawals. 😦

Day 3 Meals:

5:30 a.m. – 2 Glucomannan supplements and 1 Oily Support supplement with 8 oz water; 1 oz shot of NingXia Red with 1 drop DiGize added

Breakfast – Smoothie with Brewer’s Yeast and Flaxseed Meal added

8:00 a.m. – 20 oz water

Morning snack – raw veggies with hummus

12:15 p.m. – 2 Glucomannan with 8 oz water

Lunch– salad with tuna and balsamic vinaigrette. 20 oz water with 4 drops Slique Essence

Afternoon snack – seaweed snacks from the local Asian market (yum!)

3:30 p.m. – the hubby watched the baby and let me take a nice, relaxing detox bath! 20 oz water during my bath.

5:00 p.m. – 2 Glucomannan and 1 Oily Support supplement. Finished water from bath.

Dinner – baked salmon, baked eggplant, and steamed broccoli. 20 oz water

Total Water Consumption = 96 oz

Day 4: Thursday, September 24, 2015

Headache is back today. But it’s coupled with considerable pressure in my head and sinuses as well as a bit of a sore throat.  Lovely.  Hoping my NingXia Red helps provide some immune support and I think I’ll diffuse some Thieves tonight to help me fight this crud.  Busy at work so no real time to snack but honestly I’m just not that hungry today.  As much as I’d like to think that this is because of the detox I’m pretty sure it’s because I don’t feel well.

Took off an hour early today and found out when I got home that I was running a 100.5° fever! No wonder I wasn’t feeling well! Reluctantly took some Tylenol but wanted to see if it would help bring my fever down.  Seemed to help for a bit.

Day 4 Meals:

5:30 a.m. – 2 Glucomannan supplements and 1 Oily Support supplement with 8 oz water; 1 oz shot of NingXia Red with 1 drop DiGize added

Breakfast – Smoothie with Brewer’s Yeast and Flaxseed Meal added

8:00 a.m. – 20 oz water

11:00 a.m. – 2 Glucomannan supplements and 20 oz water

Lunch – Salad with leftover salmon from last night and balsamic vinaigrette.  Ate less than half of it because I wasn’t feeling well and it was decidedly not appetizing.  Did eat a handful of mixed nuts to make sure that I had some food on my tummy for energy to get through the rest of the day. Finished water from before lunch.

1:00 p.m. – 20 oz water with 4 drops Slique Essence

4:30 p.m. – unsweetened herbal lemon ginger herbal tea with 2 drops Thieves oil.  Skipped the Glucomannan and Oily supplements because I honestly wasn’t very hungry at all and didn’t want to fill up on fiber with no real substance.

Dinner – homemade chicken and vegetable soup, with homemade chicken broth (because my husband loves me!). 20 oz water

10:30 p.m. – 8 oz water

Total Water Consumption = 96

Day 5: Friday, September 25, 2015

Figures the week I’d start trying to take better care of myself would be the first week in almost 2 years that I get sick.  The little one didn’t want to sleep in her crib last night so I wound up on the couch with her and was having alternating chills and sweats all night long.  I was still running a 100.3° fever this morning so called in to works and went to the Dr. Sure enough, bacterial sinus infection (thank goodness not the flu and the rapid strep was negative too). Got a round of antibiotics to help clear it up. So my goal was to relax and take care of myself today. Skipped my supplements because I wasn’t particularly hungry to begin with and wanted to make sure I ate enough food.

Day 5 Meals:

 5:30 a.m. – shot of NingXia Red with 2 drops DiGize

Breakfast – Smoothie with Brewer’s Yeast and Flaxseed Meal added

8:00 a.m. – 20 oz water

11:00 a.m. – warm detox bath and 20 oz water

Lunch – leftover chicken soup. Finished water from when I had my bath.

3:00 p.m. – unsweetened lemon ginger herbal tea

4:00 p.m. – 20 oz water

Dinner – leftover chicken soup. Finished water from earlier.

After dinner snack – cheated a bit and had a peach. It was one of the few things that was appetizing to me today and in the grand scheme of the glycemic index not too terribly high. 10 oz water.

Total water consumption = 70 oz

Day 6: Saturday, September 26, 2015

Still feeling under the weather but woke up with no fever! Yay! Have very little appetite today but no sugar cravings. And much to my surprise, I’ve lost almost 8 lbs in 6 days! I’m sure part of the reason my weight loss is that significant is because I haven’t eaten a whole lot the past couple days due to not feeling well, but if I can beat the sugar cravings and get back to eating well maybe I can lose a few more!  TMI alert – my stomach got really angry after eating the bacon and eggs this morning.  I desperately wanted something other than a smoothie and didn’t want to get hungry in the middle of shopping at our big bi-annual Kids Market consignment sale this morning.  My mom thinks it’s the antibiotics that upset my stomach not the bacon but I’m not so sure.  This is the first grease I’ve had in awhile (since even before starting the detox).  Of course it could be because I pretty much ate nothing but liquids the past 24 hours too.  Will have to see what tomorrow brings.

Day 6 Meals: 

5:30 a.m. – shot of NingXia Red with 2 drops DiGize

Breakfast- bacon and scrambled eggs with 1/2 peach. 20 oz water.

7:00 a.m. – 20 oz water

Lunch – the last of the leftover chicken soup. 20 oz water.

Afternoon snack – raw veggies and hummus

4:30 p.m. – unsweetened lemon and ginger herbal tea

Dinner – “Italian” meatloaf (made with almond flour instead of breadcrumbs and a homemade tomato sauce instead of ketchup) with sautéed kale and baked zucchini. 20 oz water.

Total water consumption = 80 oz

Day 7: Sunday, September 27, 2015

Feeling a little bit better than yesterday but still not well.  Didn’t have a headache for most of the day.  Did have one hit in the late afternoon that was pretty bad and broke down and took some Ibuprofen and took a relaxing detox bath.  That helped and my headache went away for the rest of the day.  No sugar cravings today but still not much of an appetite.  I’m pleased to report that whatever upset my stomach yesterday didn’t bother me today.  I did make some bacon as an experiment and it didn’t bother me so who knows what it was yesterday?

Day 7 Meals:

7:00 a.m. – shot of NingXia Red with 2 drops DiGize

Breakfast– bacon and scrambled eggs. Glass of unsweetened vanilla almond milk.

10:00 a.m. – 20 oz water

Lunch – leftover meatloaf and a few raw veggies with hummus. Finished water from earlier.

1:00 p.m. – 20 oz water

3:30 p.m. – unsweetened peppermint herbal tea

4:00 p.m. – detox bath.  20 oz water.

Dinner – baked chicken, sauteed Brussels sprouts, and steamed yellow squash, carrots, and onions.  10 oz water

Total Water Consumption – 70 oz

Day 8: Monday, September 28, 2015

Feeling a little bit better but still not 100% yet.  Had to return to work and anticipated that my appetite might return today so I resumed taking my fiber and oily supplements.  Trying to get back on track with the Meal Plan I had made after several revisions due to not feeling well and working in some chicken soup for some comfort food.

Day 8 Meals:

5:30 a.m. – 2 Glucomannan supplements and 1 Oily Support supplement with 8 oz water; 1 oz shot of NingXia Red with 1 drop DiGize added

Breakfast – Smoothie.  Ran out of Brewer’s Yeast but added Flaxseed Meal

8:00 a.m. – 20 oz water

10:30 a.m. – handful mixed nuts

Lunch – salad with leftover chicken and balsamic vinaigrette. 20 oz water with 4 drops Slique Essence.

4:00 p.m. – 10 oz water

5:30 p.m. – 2 Glucomannan and 1 Oily Support supplement. 20 oz water.

Dinner – turkey stuffed poblano peppers with broccoli, green bean and avocado salad. Finished water from earlier.

Total Water Consumption = 78

 Day 9: Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Nothing new to note really.  Haven’t had any sugar cravings for a couple days now so that’s good.  I’ve also noticed that I’ve been actually physically hungry, rather than what I call emotionally hungry lately.  I can’t remember the last time that I felt hunger pains before I thought about food.  So I guess that’s good that I’m not constantly obsessing over food and what my next meal will be!  Got sick midday, had to leave work early and couldn’t even think about food in the evening.  Poor hubby already took the day off to take the baby back to the pediatrician and I couldn’t even give him a break when I got home from work.  He did great with the bedtime routine and let me crash around 7:45.  He takes such good care of me. I got a keeper!  Love my man so much!!!

Day 9 Meals:

5:30 a.m. – 2 Glucomannan supplements and 1 Oily Support supplement with 8 oz water; 1 oz shot of NingXia Red with 1 drop DiGize added

Breakfast – Smoothie with Flaxseed meal

8:00 a.m. – 20 oz water

10:30 a.m. – handful mixed nuts

Lunch – couple bites of salad greens with leftover ground turkey and broccoli, green bean and avocado salad from last night.  20 oz water with 4 drops Slique Essence.  Something got the better of me and I was unable to keep lunch down. Went home from work sick.  I swear, this has not been my week!

2:00 p.m. – 20 oz water

3:30 p.m. – unsweetened peppermint tea

Dinner – couldn’t even fathom eating food.  Waves of nausea kept hitting me all night long.

6:30 p.m. – 8 oz water

Total Water Consumption = 78

Day 10: Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Holy smokes! I lost 10.1 lbs!!! Say what!?! I’m sure part of it is because I was sick yesterday and didn’t eat much though. No nausea this morning but boy did my milk supply take a hit from yesterday. I’m sure I’m borderline dehydrated.  Even drinking water wasn’t super appealing yesterday evening but I tried to drink enough to get by.  Decided to skip the supplements today because I didn’t want to add anything to potentially upset my already delicate stomach.  Poor hubby woke up with a fever himself this morning so now he’s taking a sick day for himself.  Apparently we are just sharing germs among the whole family…

Day 10 Meals:

5:30 a.m. – shot of NingXia Red with 2 drops DiGize

Breakfast – Smoothie with Flaxseed meal. 16 oz water.

9:00 a.m. – 20 oz water

Lunch – I couldn’t even look at the salad mix at home after eating so much of it and having stomach upset after eating it so I ventured out to the cafeteria on campus for lunch.  It is really hard to find food that meets the detox’s restrictions in a college cafeteria, or any buffet style restaurant I would assume.  They have a soup and salad bar so I figured I’d be safe there.  Unfortunately they only had really small side salad plates (I had to go back twice!) and both their soups had either rice or potatoes in them… Bummer.  But I was good overall.  I did cheat and used the Italian dressing which I’m sure has added sugar in it but I desperately wanted something other than oil and vinegar, which is the basis of my balsamic vinaigrette that I make.  16 oz water.

5:30 p.m. – 20 oz water

Dinner – Baked chicken, steamed broccoli, and blanched green beans. Finished water from earlier.

7:00 p.m. – 10 oz water

Total Water Consumption = 82 oz

So this was really not my week.  I can’t remember the last time I’ve been so sick and I hate that it fell during the week that I was trying to do a detox to break my sugar addiction because I don’t think this really reflects my every day appetites.  But alas, when picking baby up from day care you often bring home more than just the baby.  I guess we were overdue.  It’s a lesson in being flexible I suppose. I am pleased to report, however, that I feel like I’ve managed to overcome my sugar addiction.  There has been A LOT of stuff in the house that is not on my diet plan (Did I mention the hubby got donuts the day he took the baby to the pediatrician) and I’ve done well to not only avoid eating it but haven’t really craved it.  There were a few evenings, especially early on that I really wanted something sweet after dinner.  I’m not sure why but it seems that before bed is my Achilles heel when it comes to sugar cravings.  But I’m reasonably confident that I can grab a piece of fruit or have a hot cup of tea with honey to satisfy my sweet tooth instead of eating something loaded with processed sugar. So that’s a win!

Also, my hunger cravings in general don’t seem to be bad.  I love food and honestly could eat all day, even when not hungry.  But lately I’ve found myself actually getting physically hungry rather than “emotionally hungry” or just thinking about food.  So that’s a huge change.  My portion control seems to be a bit better under control as well.  Of course several days I was sick so it’s not an accurate reflection of my appetite but by the last day I was more or less back to normal and these changes appeared to be lasting.

Which brings me to my weight loss.  Overall in the past 10 days I’ve managed to lose 10.1 lbs.  In addition, I’ve lost 3″ off my waist, 1.5″ off my hips, 2″ off my bust, 2″ from under my bust, and .5″ from my upper arm with no loss from my thighs. Even though this wasn’t my main objective, I’m really pleased with the results.  I honestly didn’t expect such dramatic loss.  I can only hope that by getting back into a clean eating/whole foods lifestyle that I’ll be able to keep it off and hopefully lost a bit more.

The question remains as to whether I will pursue the Transitional phase of the diet or not.  I’m seriously contemplating just adding back fruits, legumes, starchy vegetables, and gluten free grains (like quinoa) and continuing to abstain from dairy and gluten.  I haven’t decided yet and am still researching the pros and cons.  I admit, I miss cheese. And really I didn’t eat a ton of dairy or gluten anyway.  So we shall see.  If the research indicates that I might be able to shed a bit more weight by remaining dairy and gluten free for awhile I might just try it.  See resources below for more information on dairy and gluten.

 

Have you done the 10 Day Detox? What were your results like? I’d love to hear about it! Comment below to share your story!

 

Resources

Dr. Hyman on Dairy:

http://drhyman.com/blog/2010/06/24/dairy-6-reasons-you-should-avoid-it-at-all-costs-2/

Dr. Hyman on Gluten:

http://drhyman.com/blog/2013/12/04/gluten-making-sick-can-going-gluten-free-help-lose-weight/


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Oily Support for Healthy Weight Management: A Supplement to My 10 Day Detox

Sadly, my September Essential Rewards order processed a couple days later than expected so it did not arrive in time to start my new weight management routine or my 30 day NingXia challenge on the same day as my 10 Day Detox but better late than never! I’m excited to tell you all about my new oily routine to help support my healthy weight management goals as a supplement to my 10 Day Detox.

NingXia 30 Day Challenge

First up is NingXia Red.  I’ve been hearing so many things about this great product since I joined Young Living.  I tried the samples in the Starter Kit but didn’t really know a whole lot about what it was or why I need to take it until recently. Have you ever heard of the Wolfberry or Goji berry? The wolfberry is a “superfruit” that has traditionally been used in Chinese medicine to help strengthen the body, promote fitness, prolong life, and ease transitioning of the seasons. In addition, Wolfberry supports healthy eye function and some research suggests that they may even help improve vision imperfections common with Type 2 Diabetics!

NingXia Red is Young Living’s propriety blend of Wolfberry with pure Orange, Yuzu, Lemon, and Tangerine essential oils, along with blueberry, aronia, cherry, pomegranate, and plum juices to deliver a whole-body nutrient infusion.  The wolfberry and other superfruits provide sustainable energy and also contains powerful antioxidants to help support a healthy immune system by preventing free radical damage and oxidative stress.  The citrus oils contain d-limonene a powerful component that can help support GI and other bodily systems.

Now that I know a little bit more about NingXia Red I figured it was a good time to take the 30 Day NingXia Red challenge.  Not only could I use a bit of a sustainable energy boost as I give up coffee during my detox but the added nutritional benefit couldn’t hurt either. Not to mention, everyone around me is getting sick lately with the changing of the seasons so a little boost to immune support seems like a good idea!

More about the Wolfberry here from the National Institute of Health – Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects of Chinese Wolfberry.

More about d-limonene and how it helps support various body systems here from the National Insitute of Health – D-Limonene

DiGize Support

In addition to my shot of NingXia Red each morning I’ve decided to add a couple drops of DiGize to help support my digestive system.  DiGize is Young Living’s proprietary blend of Ginger, Anise, Fennel, Peppermint, Tarragon, Lemongrass, Patchouli, and Juniper essential oils.  It contains naturally occurring constituents like menthol, citrol, and zingiberen which can help soothe stomach discomfort, calm burning sensations after meals, and promote regular movements and healthy GI function.

My GI tract function is hit or miss and honestly I don’t really know what all sets off discomfort or irregularity.  I’m actually kind of hoping that after my 10 Day Detox when I add back dairy and gluten per Dr. Hyman’s recommendations that maybe I’ll discover the root cause.  But since a detox is all about flushing toxins from the system I figure a little boost to the Digestive system might help rid my system of sugar and unwanted toxins in a more efficient manner.  I’ve heard lots of personal testimonials about people taking DiGize daily either before meals or in a capsule as part of their vitamin and supplement routine.  I highly recommend searching some of these out to find out how DiGize has helped others maintain a healthy digestive system and minimize discomfort!

 

Weight Management Support

Lastly, is my weight management routine.  There is lots of information on the interwebz about essential oils for weight loss.  In fact, Lemon, Peppermint, and Grapefruit have long been dubbed the “weight-loss trio.”  The idea of taking essential oils to help reach and maintain a healthy weight seemed a bit too good to be true but I did a little research and was surprised by what I found about these oils and how they can be used along with proper diet and exercise to help support healthy weight management goals.  First a little about the individual oils then I’ll tell you how I use them.

Lemon – Lemon is well known in diet and weight loss circles as having a natural detoxifying effect on the body. In fact the Master Cleanse diet that was so populare several years ago is based on this premise. Lemon essential oil contains limonene which helps aid in healthy digestive function, cleanses and revitailizes the urinary tract, supports a healthy immune system and can promote healthy, younger looking skin.

More about limonene from WebMD

Peppermint – Peppermint (Mentha piperita) is one of the oldest and most highly regarded herbs for supporting normal digestion, including promoting healthy intestinal function and gastrointestinal system comfort.  Peppermint may also act like a diuretic to help flush the toxins from your system!

Grapefruit – Grapefruit helps promote healthy weight management by supporting proper metabolic function and reducing sugar cravings.  Like Lemon essential oil, Grapefruit oil contains limonene and also helps cleanse the system and aids in digestion and immune system support. (Note: consumption of Grapefruit, or other citrus oils, may increase photosensitivity.  Always wear sunscreen!)

 More about Grapefruit essential oil from Dr. Axe

Cinnamon Bark – Cinnamon Bark contains the naturally occurring constituent cinnamaldehyde which stimulates metabolism, helps support healthy blood sugar levels and promotes a healthy immune response.

Ocotea – Ocotea is an essential oil extracted from an Equadorian tree, Ocotea Quixos.  It is also known as “fake cinnamon” and like cinnamon Ocotea may help support healthy blood sugar levels.  In addition, Ocotea has the highest level of alpha humulene of any Young Living essential oil, which is a compound that helps aid the body’s natural response to irritation and injury. Ocotea also has natural cleansing and purifying properties and can help promote relaxation as well.

More about alpha humulene here from The Leaf Online – Terpene Profile: Humulene

Slique Essence – Slique Essence is a unique blend of Grapefruit, Tangerine, Lemon, Spearmint and Ocotea essential oils with stevia extract.  It is part of Young Living’s Slique line of products designed to help promote satiety and support healthy weight management.  They also offer Balance Complete meal replacement shakes, Slique protein bars, Slique tea, Slique dietary supplements, Slique gum and a Slique Complete kit of products to help you find the right solution for your weight management needs.

 

 

Oily Support

So how am I using these to support my healthy weight management goals?

First thing in the morning I take a 1 oz shot of NingXia Red with a drop or two of DiGize to help provide some energy and support my digestive system during my detox.

In a vegetable capsule (which I also ordered from Young Living) I combine 3 drops of Lemon, 3 drops of Peppermint, 3 drops of Grapefruit, 2 drops of Cinnamon Bark, and 2 drops of Ocotea and fill with carrier oil (I use Extra Virgin Olive Oil).  I take a capsule in the morning before breakfast and in the evening before dinner.  To make it easy I’ve been taking them at the same time as my Glucomannan fiber supplement, about 20-30 minutes before meals.

In the afternoon after I finish lunch, I add 4 drops of Slique Essence to my water.

 

Want more information on how essential oils can help you achieve your weight management goals? Check out this article from Natural Living Ideas: The Complete Guide to Using Essential Oils for Weight Loss

 

I use only Young Living’s 100% pure, therapeutic grade essential oils.  Join Young Living to enjoy a 24% off discount.  Message me for more details or join today here!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. Products and techniques mentioned here are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Information here is in no way intended to replace proper medical help. Consult with the health authorities of your choice for treatment.


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My New Adventure: The 10 Day Detox – to help break my sugar addiction and get back to a Clean Eating/Whole Foods Lifestyle!

As a general rule I don’t believe in dieting because I don’t believe that it is sustainable.  I’ve done the yo yo dieting trying everything from Atkins to South Beach to Weight Watchers and had some success with them all.  But inevitably I always wind up gaining more weight back and have watched the scale slowly creep up my whole life.  In January of 2014 my husband and I made an agreement to be more conscious about the food we were eating and to start focusing on clean eating and a whole foods lifestyle. Pretty much synonymous in their meanings, clean eating and whole foods “diets” are really more about lifestyle changes. The basic concept is to eat foods as close to their natural state as possible.  This essentially means having an awareness of what you are eating, reading labels, and focusing on eating real food that hasn’t been processed, refined, enriched, or added to.  It cuts out pretty much anything artificial and minimizes exposure to unnecessary additives and preservatives.  And ultimately it means that you spend more time preparing and cooking in your home.  We’ve enjoyed our transition over the years and take pride in viewing our grocery cart (or Costco flatbed as is more often the case) filled to the brim with fruits, vegetables, organic meats, and whole grains and it has inspired some pretty creative recipes and regular menu additions thanks to my awesome hubby and his intuitive approach to cooking (something I lack).  This lifestyle change was so beneficial that when I was unexpectedly diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes at 12 weeks pregnant with my daughter that I didn’t have to make too many changes to my regular eating habits to keep my blood sugar within normal limits.  As a lucky silver lining, I only gained 17 lbs during my pregnancy which melted off pretty quickly thanks to breastfeeding.  And I’m blessed to be under my pre-pregnancy weight by 10 or so lbs at 8 months postpartum.

However, the unexpected (although really I should’ve anticipate it) side effect of being forced into avoiding certain foods is that after my daughter was born both myself, and my husband, have been on a pretty constant carb and sugar binge since January.  I’m a firm believer that almost anything in moderation is okay but I admit I have a full on sugar addiction.  I literally crave sweet stuff morning, noon, and night.  While my husband has impulse buys at Kroger and will happily help me eat the oatmeal chocolate chip lactation cookies I was making to help boost my milk supply he has a job where he runs 100 miles per hour all day long and walks, no kidding, an average of 10 miles a day.  I… do not.  I sit at a desk in between counseling sessions where I sit in a chair opposite my clients and listen to them tell me about their problems.  It’s a pretty sedentary job.  And exercise? Forget about it. That’s the equivalent of a 4 letter word in my vocabulary.  About the only exercise I get is walking up the 3 flights of stairs to my office in the mornings. So, needless to say, that even though I’ve been blessed to have not gained any weight during these last 8 months I won’t be able to keep this up for long before it catches up to me.  So I started trying to figure out how to break my sugar addiction to get back on track.

My research led to me Dr. Hyman’s 10 Day Detox Diet.  Dr. Hyman is the author of another book called the Blood Sugar Solution.  I was intrigued by his approach because he focuses on helping you break your addiction to sugar and to make positive lifestyle changes to prevent disease and maintain a healthy weight.  Given my risk factors for Type 2 Diabetes (family history, GD during pregnancy, weight, etc.) I liked that he stresses the importance of foods that help keep your blood sugar within normal limits and lowering your risk of diabetes and other diseases.  Once you get past the initial “diet” phase of the detox what he suggests is pretty similar to the lifestyle I was leading last year.  So it seemed like a good fit for me.  I figure I could do 10 days, right? Guess we shall see.

So what’s the 10 Day Detox all about? Basically it cuts out all sugar, carbs, starchy veggies, and foods that tend to increase inflammation and cause GI distress for 10 days.  In addition, Dr. Hyman encourages other healthy lifestyle practices including exercise (ugh!), detox baths, mindfulness meditation, journaling and relaxation exercises to help you along your journey.  I’m cheap frugal so I didn’t want to buy the book (and lets get real, I’d read it then it would sit on a shelf and collect dust for 10-20 odd years before I got frustrated with the clutter and decided to purge my home of junk).  I’m sure his publisher would tell you that you need to buy the book and in fact, you may find it easier.  I’m sure it’s full of a wealth of information and guidelines, recipes and meal plans but I’m stubborn and decided to research until I was blue in the face to avoid spending the 16 some odd dollars it cost to buy the book.   So if you are like me and just want the bare bones and to figure it out on your own without someone telling you specifically what to eat and when, here’s what I learned.

The first 10 days you get none of this:

NO Caffeine, including tea, soft drinks, coffee, lattes, etc.; NO Alcohol, including beer, wine, or spirits; NO Sweetened beverages, including juice; NO Processed foods – if it comes in a box or a can, unless it is a whole food in a can like tuna, don’t eat it; NO Sugar or anything that has added sugar in the ingredients (read carefully!); NO Gluten, including wheat, rye, barley, spelt, kamut, triticale, and oats; NO Flour or any food made from flour, including crackers, pasta, bread, pretzels, etc.; NO Grains – no rice or even quinoa during the first 10 days; NO Starches, including sweet potato, potato, squash, parsnip, beets, etc.; Beans and legumes, including chickpeas, lentils, peanuts, kidney beans, etc.; and NO Dairy, including yogurt, sour cream, cheese, milk, etc.

A little of that:

Fruits – in moderation, low-sugar fruits, single portions, including berries, blueberries, cranberries, kiwi, lemon, and lime

And unlimited amounts of non-starchy veggies, including:

Artichoke, Arugula, Asparagus, Bean sprouts, Beet greens, Bell peppers (red, yellow, green), Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Celery, Chives, Collard Greens, Dandelion Greens, Eggplant, Endive, Fennel, Garlic, Ginger root, Green beans, Hearts of palm, Jalapeño peppers, Kale, Lettuce, Mushrooms, Mustard greens, Onions, Parsley, Radicchio, Radishes, Shallots, Snap beans, Snow peas, Spinach, Summer squash, Swiss chard, Tomatoes, Turnip greens, Watercress, Zucchini, etc.

In addition, you are encouraged to stock up on lots of foods that will help detoxify, reduce inflammation, and promote healthy weight loss, including:

Lean proteins (preferably organic, grass-fed and sustainably raised) like chicken, turkey, salmon, omega-3 eggs, tofu or tempeh; Extra virgin olive oil; Extra virgin coconut butter (often called coconut oil); Other healthy oils that you like (walnut, sesame, grape seed, flax, or avocado); Nut butters (raw if possible; choose from almond, cashew, macadamia nut or walnut); Nuts: walnuts, almonds, pecans, macadamia nuts; Seeds: hemp, chia, flax, pumpkin, sesame, Tahini (sesame-seed paste — great for salad dressings and in sauces for vegetables); Canned full-fat coconut milk; Unsweetened hemp or almond milk; Almond meal; Apple cider vinegar; Balsamic vinegar; Low-sodium, gluten-free tamari; Low-sodium broth (vegetable or chicken); Dijon mustard; Sea salt; Black pepper (peppercorns that you can grind fresh); and detoxifying and anti-inflammatory dried herbs and spices, including turmeric, cayenne pepper, thyme, rosemary, chili powder, cumin, sage, oregano, onion powder, cinnamon, coriander, cilantro, paprika and parsley.

 

Dr. Hyman recommends a prep phase where you rid your home of the tempting ingredients you aren’t allowed to eat and start to taper yourself off of your daily caffeine intake.  I’m a bad example and totally skipped this step.  It didn’t seem fair to hubby to make him completely follow the diet just because I wanted to detox so there’s plenty of stuff I can’t eat in the house for him to indulge on for lunch, snacks, and add-on items for his dinner to ensure that he is full enough and doesn’t want to kill me! lol!  And I only really drink 1-2 cups of coffee a day and no other caffeine so I decided to go cold turkey.

The first 10 days is the actual detox phase.  It is the most restrictive phase of the diet.  After the detox is what Dr. Hyman calls the transition phase where for the next 6 weeks you pick the plan that best meets your needs. There are several options including the Super-Advanced (if you need to lose 25+ lbs or have diabetes, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure and are wanting to get off your medications), the Advanced (which is basically the Super-Advanced but adds legumes), and the Basic Transition phases (Chewfo has a good breakdown of the Transition phases).  While I could probably stand to lose 25+ lbs I honestly don’t have it in me to stick to such restrictive diet.  Even the Basic Transition phase continues to prohibit dairy and gluten but does add back in legumes, gluten-free grains and starchy veggies in moderation.  Truthfully, here at the beginning of my adventure my plan is to pretty much skip the transition phase.  Although I do think I will follow the guidelines suggested for adding back dairy and gluten after the transition phase to see how my body reacts to these things after not eating them for awhile.  I’m curious how my GI tract and any general inflammation (like carpal tunnel) may react.  But I guess we will get to the end of our 10 days and see how it’s going.  If I have some crazy amount of weight loss and am feeling great I may just try the Basic Transition phase out at least until our vacation (because really? Who diets on vacation!?!).

 

Words of Warning: it is generally NOT recommended to attempt any detox or cleanse while pregnant or breastfeeding.  The main reason why is because if you consume too many toxins for your organs to safely process your body has a fail safe system where it attaches a buffer molecule to temporarily reduce the toxicity and stores the toxins in your cells as a way to keep them out of your blood stream and away from your organs.  A good detox is designed such that it knocks these buffer molecules lose and releases the toxins in your cells into your blood stream to be sent to your liver to be processed.  Once they have been entered into the blood stream they are not only released through urination, bowel movements, and the skin (acne anyone?) but they can also then pass through the placenta if pregnant, or breastmilk if nursing.  Since you are obviously trying to rid your own body of nasty toxins you most likely are concerned enough to not want your baby exposed to them either.  In addition, during a detox you run the risk of dehydration or too little nutrition which can impact your milk supply if nursing.

“But wait, are YOU still nursing!?!” you may ask.  Ah! You’re paying attention! I am still nursing my 8 month old daughter.  However, I have done my research and made an educated decision to go ahead and commit to the 10 Day Detox even despite this.  Because I tend to follow a clean eating whole foods lifestyle as a general rule and have long since cut out processed foods, artificial colors, artificial sweeteners, and most of the toxic junk people are usually trying to rid their systems of I figure that a sugar detox for me will have much fewer nasty toxins being released into my system than the average person.  I already drink nothing but water throughout the day and it’s a pretty easy fix to bump up my water intake to prevent dehydration.  And lastly, I’ve created my own meal plan to follow that ensures I will get enough nutrition throughout the day, without calorie counting, by adding in healthy snack options and also adding in some Brewer’s Yeast and Flax meal to my morning smoothies to help boost supply.  I also researched to some degree the 21 Day Sugar Detox which is safe to follow while breastfeeding.  Overall, the similarities between the 21 Day Sugar Detox and the 10 Day Detox Diet are remarkable.  The breastfeeding modifications for the 21 Day Sugar Detox pretty much just ensure that you are eating enough of a caloric intake to support both you and your baby.  So I figured that was a pretty easy modification to the 10 Day Detox while only restricting my diet for 10 days instead of a full 21.  If I have good luck with the first 10 days, I may just consider pushing another 11 for good measure.  But I know me, and that seems really overwhelming, so I’m taking it in baby steps. However, you should do your research, and a lot of it, before committing to any detox diet if you are breastfeeding (and I wouldn’t recommend it at all if you are preggers).

 

So there you have it.  Today is the start of my new adventure on this 10 Day Detox.  I’ll be adding additional posts about my Oily Support for Healthy Weight Management and my Daily Journal and Meal Plan over the next 10 days so stay tuned to hear how it goes! Wish me luck!

 

Have you done the 10 Day Detox? I’d love to hear how it went for you and any tips or tricks you learned! Comment below!

 

Want to know what online resources I used to research the 10 Day Diet without springing for the book? Check out these websites:

Dr. Hyman’s website (lots of general info and some good recipes too):

http://drhyman.com/

Dr. Oz’s episode on the 10 Day Detox (The first link has several other links embedded that you can click to take the Toxicity Quiz, get the link to the Meal-Plan One Sheet quick reference, and to get Dr. Mark Hyman’s breakfast smoothie recipe):

http://www.doctoroz.com/article/10-day-detox-diet-jump-start-guide

An alternative to Dr. Hyman’s breakfast smoothie (note: I chose to use unsweetened Almond milk instead of the Soy Milk listed in this recipe as the Soy Milk she used has added sugar):

http://www.smartandsavvymom.com/2015/01/10/strawberry-banana-almond-smoothie-my-go-to-detox-smoothie/

A good Food List to help get you started understanding what’s allowed and what’s not during the 10 Day Detox:

http://www.chewfo.com/diets/the-blood-sugar-solution-10-day-detox-diet-by-mark-hyman-2014-what-to-eat-foods-to-avoid-food-list/

Dr. Mark Hyman’s 10 Day Detox One-Week Quick Start Recipe Guide:

http://10daydetox.com/toptenfoodlies/_downloads/ONE-WEEK_QUICK_START_RECIPE_GUIDE-ONLNE.pdf

An ingredient cheat sheet for Dr. Hyman’s Super Salad Bar:

http://www.foodily.com/r/whx6k3y7jc-dr-hymans-super-salad-bar-by-shashi-srikantan 


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The Holy Grail of DIY Deodorant

Before I started my WordPress blog I had a Facebook page where I was sharing about my adventures and DIY ideas. This past Spring I shared a post per special request about my Quest for the Perfect Deodorant.  I never shared it here but it seems pertinent to do so in order to give you some background on just how long I’ve been seeking the what was starting to look like the Holy Grail of deodorant recipes. So here’s my original post:


(5/1/15) The Quest for the Perfect Deodorant:
There was a lot of hype on the interwebz about the dangers of antiperspirant a couple years ago, theorizing that your deodorant caused everything from breast cancer to Alzheimer’s disease. Since then, science has pretty much debunked most of these rumors. But the gist of these rumors was that the active ingredient in antiperspirant, aluminum chlorohydrate, was the culprit.

In the 1960’s researchers found high levels of aluminum in the brains of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease. As a result, the safety of any household or cosmetic product containing aluminum was called into question. Since then, no sound scientific study has been able to prove that aluminum is a cause of Alzheimer’s disease (remember correlation does not equal causation). In fact, most researchers point out that the aluminum chlorohydrate in deodorants doesn’t enter into the body at all. It works by reacting with the sweat produced in your underarm area to form a plug or sorts into the sweat duct effectively blocking the sweat from being released. Which brings me to the rumors about breast cancer risk.

In the 1990’s a group of researchers theorized that aluminum chlorohydrate in antiperspirants was linked to breast cancer because the majority of breast cancers develop in the upper, outermost portion of the breast, the area closest to the armpit. Two theories emerged: 1) because antiperspirants block the sweat we are preventing the body from its natural ability to rid itself of heavy metals and thus leading to cancer, and 2) the chemicals in deodorant and antiperspirant are absorbed into the skin, particularly when the skin is nicked during shaving, and that these chemicals supposedly interact with DNA to interfere with estrogen levels and can lead to cancer cell growth. Again, neither of these hypotheses have been supported through peer reviewed research.

There is some legitimate risk concern over aluminum possibly leading to dementia in patients with kidney disease, however. This comes from several studies showing that dialysis patients given aluminum hydroxide had difficulty ridding the aluminum from their system due to improper kidney function and leading to higher percentage of these patients developing dementia. This lead to the FDA requiring the warning you may have seen on antiperspirants that says “Ask a doctor before use if you have kidney disease.” Despite this relationship, however, most doctors believe that the likelihood of absorbing enough aluminum through the skin to harm the kidneys is unlikely.

My quest for the perfect deodorant began when I wanted to decrease the number of chemicals and questionable ingredients in my skincare and beauty products several years ago. Even if aluminum chlorohydrate doesn’t lead to cancer or Alzheimer’s there are still a lot of other questionable ingredients in traditional deodorants and antiperspirants, including:

Phthalates– chemicals used to soften and increase flexibility in plastics that may* cause endocrine disruption or hormone imbalance. (* this relationship is largely unknown and more research is needed)

Propylene glycol– also called antifreeze. There is a lot of debate about adding this ingredient in skincare and beauty products. According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) propylene glycol carries a moderate risk of immunotoxicity and allergies.

Formaldehyde – recognized as a known carcinogen but commonly added to help kill germs.

Parabens – a preservative used in pharmaceuticals, beauty products, and even the food industry. There is some concern that Parabens cause estrogenic disruption but this is largely unsupported by the research.

Antibacterial Substances– There is emerging concern that antibacterial substances, such as triclocarban (commonly found in soaps), can be endocrine disruptors and thus negatively affect the immune system

So, armed with a list of ingredients I couldn’t pronounce I declared that I would give up my beloved Secret Clinical Strength deodorant. I don’t know about any of you but I sweat… like a man – there is no “glisten” where my pits are concerned. And, I stink. I said it, I can have pretty wicked BO… So giving up my Clinical Strength deodorant that I had used for years was no small feat. I tried lots of products that claimed to be “better” than other deodorants that had more chemicals. Even falling victim to the “Natural” marketing campaign (which if you didn’t know marketers can put the words “natural” on pretty much anything when there may be nothing “natural” about that product – it means zilch in the real world…) and landing on Secret’s Natural Mineral Antiperspirant and Deodorant for a couple years thinking it was a better alternative.

Once my blinders were removed I transitioned to Tom’s of Maine deodorant as a healthier choice and was terribly disappointed because quite frankly it didn’t really work for me (hindsight is 20/20 and a lot of why I think it didn’t work was diet – more on that in a minute). So by that time I was getting into the whole crunchy granola lifestyle and thought “what the hell, why don’t I just make my own deo!?!” So I tried one of the most common homemade deodorant recipes out there:

• 1/4 c. baking soda

• 1/4 c. cornstarch or arrowroot powder

• 5 Tbsp. coconut oil

• Essential oils (optional – I used 3 drops of lavender, 4 drops of sweet orange, and 2 drops of tea tree)

Mix everything together very well in a small container. Pack it in an old deodorant container and use it just like you normally do.

And you know what? It worked!!! I was thrilled! But after using it for a while I discovered that, like many people out there, my skin is way too sensitive for baking soda as a deodorant. My pits turned an angry shade of red, peeled, and itched like crazy. Nothing so sexy as walking around scratching your pits like a monkey all day. So I tried decreasing the baking soda and added more arrowroot powder and much to my dismay I continued to have the same reaction, although slightly less severe. Saddened by this turn of events, I continued my quest.

Next I tried Milk of Magnesia (MoM) – yes, the same stuff you use for constipation and heartburn, but hear me out. Because the active ingredient, magnesium hydroxide, is alkaline it helps balance the acidity of the sweat and sebum (skin’s natural oils) mixture. This worked okay, but I wasn’t a super huge fan of having to rub a quarter sized dollop of MoM on my pits and wait for it to dry. Some critics of MoM as deo point out, however, that an inactive ingredient in MoM is sodium hypochlorite, which is essentially bleach and while this does a fantastic job of killing bacteria, it is a known skin irritant. These critics will often advocate for using magnesium oil (which can be purchased in an aerosol spray) as an alternative or even just increasing your magnesium through supplements to decrease body odor (but I take a mag supplement daily and still need deo).

Next I was led to the Natural Crystal deodorant, which is basically a “salt” crystal, or potassium alum. It has also received a lot of criticism for being a type of aluminum but since I know that the aluminum-cancer/dementia risk is slight (see above) I wasn’t particularly concerned. Again, I was surprised by how well this actually worked for me! But again, sadly disappointed when my pits started itching. Not as bad as BS but still not sexy and super annoying.

So feeling dismayed I went back to Tom’s of Maine. I was pleasantly surprised that it was working better than it did a couple years ago and I credit our change in diet/lifestyle as the reason behind this change. We gave up processed foods, cut back on sugar (although admittedly I’ve relapsed since the little one was born), and traded in “white” foods, like sugar, rice, potatoes, bread, etc. for whole and ancient grains, sweet potatoes, and sugar alternatives, like honey or agave nectar. I haven’t found a whole lot of evidence to support my claim that my healthier diet changed my BO (because I still drink caffeine and eat lots of garlic and onions as well as other BO-causing spices like curry) but that’s my anecdotal evidence for ya!

That said, I still wanted to get away from having to purchase store-bought deodorant and continued my quest for a homemade recipe that didn’t irritate my armpits. My recently re-ignited passion for essential oils lead me to search for new recipes. Below is what I discovered!

The Holy Grail of DIY Deodorant:

A  fellow essential oil enthusiast recently shared with me that she was having luck using Rosemary oil as a deodorant alternative. Now, Rosemary essential oil is technically classified as a dietary supplement but I’m all about experimenting and finding new ways to use essential oils.  My friend had said she just dropped a few drops in her hands, rubbed them together and applied neat to her pits. I admit, I was super skeptical that one single oil, let alone something I associated more with cooking than sweat could tackle this challenge. But, willing to try pretty much anything, I added Rosemary oil to my Essential Rewards order back in July and gave it a whirl.


This stuff is amazing! For a month and a half I wore nothing but Rosemary oil, neat, as a deodorant alternative and I’m pleased to report that I didn’t stink! I still sweated but the Rosemary oil is a natural camphor so it provides a nice cooling sensation in warm summer breezes which was nice. But I did want to try to find something to provide some wetness protection.  I had such a bad reaction to Baking Soda in my deodorant that I wanted to find something else to help absorb sweat and set out to look for alternatives.  While scouring the interwebz I stumbled upon Simple Life Mom’s blog post and recipe for a Detoxing Homemade Clay Deodorant.  She skips the Baking Soda and adds Bentonite Clay to help absorb wetness and odor.  In addition to soothing the skin, the clay also helps detox heavy metals and other toxins from the skin!  The blog was originally published  on my daughter’s birthday so I thought that perhaps this was kismet.  I already had all the ingredients on hand and decided to give it a whirl.  Since I’d had such good luck with the Rosemary essential oil I knew I wanted it to be included and decided to add a bit of Lavender essential oil as well to help with any skin irritation that I might have from the Arrowroot powder or Bentonite Clay.  Here’s the recipe with my essential oil ratios:

 

DIY Rosemary & Lavender Detoxing Deodorant (for sensitive skin):

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp Bentonite Clay (Simple Life Mom suggests substituting Kaolin or other clay if you desired to have a whiter deodorant)
  • 5 Tbsp Arrowroot Powder (I get mine from Mountain Rose Herbs)
  • 1 tsp Beeswax (I used pastilles because they melt easier and get mine from Mountain Rose Herbs)
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil (I use Carrington Farms brand and get it at Costco. That big ol tub is only like $14.99 and we use it for cooking in addition to my DIY projects.)
  • 2 tsp Shea Butter (I get mine from Mountain Rose Herbs)
  • 10 drops of Rosemary essential oil
  • 8 drops of Lavender essential oil

Directions:

  1. Combine Beeswax, Coconut Oil, and Shea Butter in double boiler.  Heat on high and stir until all ingredients are thoroughly mixed together.
  2. Combine Arrowroot powder and Bentonite Clay in bowl.
  3. Pour oil mixture into powder mixture and stir until there are no lumps.
  4. Add essential oils and stir until well mixed.
  5. Pour into empty deodorant container (mine was gifted to me but you can find them on Amazon or at other online aromatherapy supplies dealers websites)

 

I’ve used this new deodorant for a week now.  I’ve made sure to wear every color and style shirt conceivable and the verdict is I freakin’ love this stuff!!! I feel like my long quest for the perfect deodorant is finally over.  This, my friends, is my holy grail of DIY deodorants!!! I absolutely love that I get the fragrance of the Rosemary essential oil, with just a touch of the Lavender, in addition to the wetness protection from the Arrowroot and Bentonite Clay.  It goes on smoothly which I also really like. For what it’s worth though, I have two (small) constructive criticisms of the recipe. First, it does show up on black (but not white as I feared) fabric.  It is not any more visible than a white solid deodorant, however.  But if I was going to wear a black tank top, or little black dress if you’re more fashionable than me, I would probably just use my Rosemary oil neat to avoid the powdery bits.  And second, because it is pretty soft, which makes it glide on easily, it does tend to ball up a little bit in the creases of my armpit.  However, this is very short lived as the melting point of the Coconut Oil and Shea Butter is pretty low so after 30 minutes to an hour it is all absorbed and no more balls or clumps.

So there it is.  Try it out and let me know what you think!  Comment below with your results to help keep the conversation going!!!

 

I use only Young Living’s 100% pure, therapeutic grade essential oils.  Join Young Living to enjoy a 24% off discount.  Message me for more details or join today here!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. Products and techniques mentioned here are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Information here is in no way intended to replace proper medical help. Consult with the health authorities of your choice for treatment.


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Stinky Diaper Pail? There’s An Oil For That! Check Out These DIY Diaper Pail Deodorant Disks!

As you all are aware, I have a bright, bubbly, beautiful (almost) 8 month old daughter.  What that also means, is I’m up to my elbows in stinky diapers!  Even thought it’s not so crunchy, we decided that the best decision for our family was to use disposable diapers so we have a Diaper Genie in our daughter’s nursery.  The Diaper Genie comes with this little packet of carbon that is inserted into a little container in the lid of the diaper pail to help control odor.

Great idea! I loved that it helped control the odor without harsh chemicals.  But after 6 months or so, it was no longer up to the challenge of keeping the stink contained so I set out to find a refill…. Guess what? These things aren’t sold in stores. Not Babies R’Us, not Target, not Walgreens… not anywhere I could find.  Why? I can’t possibly say.  Seems like a failed execution strategy to me.  But I’ve got this great kit of essential oils and I thought for sure there is some way I can DIY something to work in place of the carbon insert so I headed on over to my trusted Pinterest to find a recipe.  As always, I wasn’t disappointed and found this gem of a recipe!

DIY Diaper Pail Deodorant Disks: 

You’ll Need:

  • 2 cups of Baking Soda
  • Distilled (or boiled) water
  • Essential oils of your choice – I chose Young Living’s Purification, a blend of Citronella, Lemongrass, Lavandin, Rosemary, Tea Tree, and Myrtle specifically designed to help eliminate odors!
  • Muffin pan
  • Paper (or silicone) muffin cups

Directions:

Add a few drops of your desired essential oil to a small amount your distilled water (If you don’t have distilled you can boil tap water but make sure to wait for it to cool before adding your eo as heat can destroy the therapeutic properties of essential oil).  Mix the water with the baking soda and gradually add a little more at a time until you get a thick paste. I used 3/4 cup of water and it was TOO MUCH!!!  I actually added more baking soda and it was still too much. In hindsight, I’d probably start with 1/4 cup and add more until desired consistency (this is especially important if you use silicone muffin cups – since I used paper the excess water was able to seep through the paper – I removed from the tin and set on a paper towel to absorb the extra water).   Press a bit of the paste into lined muffin tin, about 1/4″ per disk.  Let dry 24 hours.  Remove from muffin cup.  Place in diaper pail.

I had an old Crystal Light lemonade container left over from when I rid my house of processed foods a year or so ago that I had been hanging on to but wasn’t sure why.  It was the perfect size for storing my deodorant disks! So I put a pretty label on it and set it up in the nursery so I have easy access to the disks in order to replace them once a month or so.

Use cloth? These deodorant disks can also be used for cloth diaper wet bags and BONUS you can crumble them up and throw them in the diaper wash after they start to lose their effectiveness.  The baking soda will help deodorize and soften your cloth diapers!

Source: Diapers, Dirt, Donuts, Doodling & Digital’s blog Stinky Diaper Pail? Make Your Own Deodorant Disks.

Have you made DIY diaper pail deodorant disks? Tell us about your experience below!

I use only Young Living’s 100% pure, therapeutic grade essential oils.  Join Young Living to enjoy a 24% off discount.  Message me for more details or join today here!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. Products and techniques mentioned here are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Information here is in no way intended to replace proper medical help. Consult with the health authorities of your choice for treatment.


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The Holy Grail of DIY Deodorant

Before I started my WordPress blog I had a Facebook page where I was sharing about my adventures and DIY ideas. This past Spring I shared a post per special request about my Quest for the Perfect Deodorant.  I never shared it here but it seems pertinent to do so in order to give you some background on just how long I’ve been seeking the what was starting to look like the Holy Grail of deodorant recipes. So here’s my original post:


(5/1/15) The Quest for the Perfect Deodorant:
There was a lot of hype on the interwebz about the dangers of antiperspirant a couple years ago, theorizing that your deodorant caused everything from breast cancer to Alzheimer’s disease. Since then, science has pretty much debunked most of these rumors. But the gist of these rumors was that the active ingredient in antiperspirant, aluminum chlorohydrate, was the culprit.

In the 1960’s researchers found high levels of aluminum in the brains of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease. As a result, the safety of any household or cosmetic product containing aluminum was called into question. Since then, no sound scientific study has been able to prove that aluminum is a cause of Alzheimer’s disease (remember correlation does not equal causation). In fact, most researchers point out that the aluminum chlorohydrate in deodorants doesn’t enter into the body at all. It works by reacting with the sweat produced in your underarm area to form a plug or sorts into the sweat duct effectively blocking the sweat from being released. Which brings me to the rumors about breast cancer risk.

In the 1990’s a group of researchers theorized that aluminum chlorohydrate in antiperspirants was linked to breast cancer because the majority of breast cancers develop in the upper, outermost portion of the breast, the area closest to the armpit. Two theories emerged: 1) because antiperspirants block the sweat we are preventing the body from its natural ability to rid itself of heavy metals and thus leading to cancer, and 2) the chemicals in deodorant and antiperspirant are absorbed into the skin, particularly when the skin is nicked during shaving, and that these chemicals supposedly interact with DNA to interfere with estrogen levels and can lead to cancer cell growth. Again, neither of these hypotheses have been supported through peer reviewed research.

There is some legitimate risk concern over aluminum possibly leading to dementia in patients with kidney disease, however. This comes from several studies showing that dialysis patients given aluminum hydroxide had difficulty ridding the aluminum from their system due to improper kidney function and leading to higher percentage of these patients developing dementia. This lead to the FDA requiring the warning you may have seen on antiperspirants that says “Ask a doctor before use if you have kidney disease.” Despite this relationship, however, most doctors believe that the likelihood of absorbing enough aluminum through the skin to harm the kidneys is unlikely.

My quest for the perfect deodorant began when I wanted to decrease the number of chemicals and questionable ingredients in my skincare and beauty products several years ago. Even if aluminum chlorohydrate doesn’t lead to cancer or Alzheimer’s there are still a lot of other questionable ingredients in traditional deodorants and antiperspirants, including:

Phthalates– chemicals used to soften and increase flexibility in plastics that may* cause endocrine disruption or hormone imbalance. (* this relationship is largely unknown and more research is needed)

Propylene glycol– also called antifreeze. There is a lot of debate about adding this ingredient in skincare and beauty products. According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) propylene glycol carries a moderate risk of immunotoxicity and allergies.

Formaldehyde – recognized as a known carcinogen but commonly added to help kill germs.

Parabens – a preservative used in pharmaceuticals, beauty products, and even the food industry. There is some concern that Parabens cause estrogenic disruption but this is largely unsupported by the research.

Antibacterial Substances– There is emerging concern that antibacterial substances, such as triclocarban (commonly found in soaps), can be endocrine disruptors and thus negatively affect the immune system

So, armed with a list of ingredients I couldn’t pronounce I declared that I would give up my beloved Secret Clinical Strength deodorant. I don’t know about any of you but I sweat… like a man – there is no “glisten” where my pits are concerned. And, I stink. I said it, I can have pretty wicked BO… So giving up my Clinical Strength deodorant that I had used for years was no small feat. I tried lots of products that claimed to be “better” than other deodorants that had more chemicals. Even falling victim to the “Natural” marketing campaign (which if you didn’t know marketers can put the words “natural” on pretty much anything when there may be nothing “natural” about that product – it means zilch in the real world…) and landing on Secret’s Natural Mineral Antiperspirant and Deodorant for a couple years thinking it was a better alternative.

Once my blinders were removed I transitioned to Tom’s of Maine deodorant as a healthier choice and was terribly disappointed because quite frankly it didn’t really work for me (hindsight is 20/20 and a lot of why I think it didn’t work was diet – more on that in a minute). So by that time I was getting into the whole crunchy granola lifestyle and thought “what the hell, why don’t I just make my own deo!?!” So I tried one of the most common homemade deodorant recipes out there:

• 1/4 c. baking soda

• 1/4 c. cornstarch or arrowroot powder

• 5 Tbsp. coconut oil

• Essential oils (optional – I used 3 drops of lavender, 4 drops of sweet orange, and 2 drops of tea tree)

Mix everything together very well in a small container. Pack it in an old deodorant container and use it just like you normally do.

And you know what? It worked!!! I was thrilled! But after using it for a while I discovered that, like many people out there, my skin is way too sensitive for baking soda as a deodorant. My pits turned an angry shade of red, peeled, and itched like crazy. Nothing so sexy as walking around scratching your pits like a monkey all day. So I tried decreasing the baking soda and added more arrowroot powder and much to my dismay I continued to have the same reaction, although slightly less severe. Saddened by this turn of events, I continued my quest.

Next I tried Milk of Magnesia (MoM) – yes, the same stuff you use for constipation and heartburn, but hear me out. Because the active ingredient, magnesium hydroxide, is alkaline it helps balance the acidity of the sweat and sebum (skin’s natural oils) mixture. This worked okay, but I wasn’t a super huge fan of having to rub a quarter sized dollop of MoM on my pits and wait for it to dry. Some critics of MoM as deo point out, however, that an inactive ingredient in MoM is sodium hypochlorite, which is essentially bleach and while this does a fantastic job of killing bacteria, it is a known skin irritant. These critics will often advocate for using magnesium oil (which can be purchased in an aerosol spray) as an alternative or even just increasing your magnesium through supplements to decrease body odor (but I take a mag supplement daily and still need deo).

Next I was led to the Natural Crystal deodorant, which is basically a “salt” crystal, or potassium alum. It has also received a lot of criticism for being a type of aluminum but since I know that the aluminum-cancer/dementia risk is slight (see above) I wasn’t particularly concerned. Again, I was surprised by how well this actually worked for me! But again, sadly disappointed when my pits started itching. Not as bad as BS but still not sexy and super annoying.

So feeling dismayed I went back to Tom’s of Maine. I was pleasantly surprised that it was working better than it did a couple years ago and I credit our change in diet/lifestyle as the reason behind this change. We gave up processed foods, cut back on sugar (although admittedly I’ve relapsed since the little one was born), and traded in “white” foods, like sugar, rice, potatoes, bread, etc. for whole and ancient grains, sweet potatoes, and sugar alternatives, like honey or agave nectar. I haven’t found a whole lot of evidence to support my claim that my healthier diet changed my BO (because I still drink caffeine and eat lots of garlic and onions as well as other BO-causing spices like curry) but that’s my anecdotal evidence for ya!

That said, I still wanted to get away from having to purchase store-bought deodorant and continued my quest for a homemade recipe that didn’t irritate my armpits. My recently re-ignited passion for essential oils lead me to search for new recipes. Below is what I discovered!

The Holy Grail of DIY Deodorant:

A  fellow essential oil enthusiast recently shared with me that she was having luck using Rosemary oil as a deodorant alternative. Now, Rosemary essential oil is technically classified as a dietary supplement but I’m all about experimenting and finding new ways to use essential oils.  My friend had said she just dropped a few drops in her hands, rubbed them together and applied neat to her pits. I admit, I was super skeptical that one single oil, let alone something I associated more with cooking than sweat could tackle this challenge. But, willing to try pretty much anything, I added Rosemary oil to my Essential Rewards order back in July and gave it a whirl.


This stuff is amazing! For a month and a half I wore nothing but Rosemary oil, neat, as a deodorant alternative and I’m pleased to report that I didn’t stink! I still sweated but the Rosemary oil is a natural camphor so it provides a nice cooling sensation in warm summer breezes which was nice. But I did want to try to find something to provide some wetness protection.  I had such a bad reaction to Baking Soda in my deodorant that I wanted to find something else to help absorb sweat and set out to look for alternatives.  While scouring the interwebz I stumbled upon Simple Life Mom’s blog post and recipe for a Detoxing Homemade Clay Deodorant.  She skips the Baking Soda and adds Bentonite Clay to help absorb wetness and odor.  In addition to soothing the skin, the clay also helps detox heavy metals and other toxins from the skin!  The blog was originally published  on my daughter’s birthday so I thought that perhaps this was kismet.  I already had all the ingredients on hand and decided to give it a whirl.  Since I’d had such good luck with the Rosemary essential oil I knew I wanted it to be included and decided to add a bit of Lavender essential oil as well to help with any skin irritation that I might have from the Arrowroot powder or Bentonite Clay.  Here’s the recipe with my essential oil ratios:

 

DIY Rosemary & Lavender Detoxing Deodorant (for sensitive skin):

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp Bentonite Clay (Simple Life Mom suggests substituting Kaolin or other clay if you desired to have a whiter deodorant)
  • 5 Tbsp Arrowroot Powder (I get mine from Mountain Rose Herbs)
  • 1 tsp Beeswax (I used pastilles because they melt easier and get mine from Mountain Rose Herbs)
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil (I use Carrington Farms brand and get it at Costco. That big ol tub is only like $14.99 and we use it for cooking in addition to my DIY projects.)
  • 2 tsp Shea Butter (I get mine from Mountain Rose Herbs)
  • 10 drops of Rosemary essential oil
  • 8 drops of Lavender essential oil

Directions:

  1. Combine Beeswax, Coconut Oil, and Shea Butter in double boiler.  Heat on high and stir until all ingredients are thoroughly mixed together.
  2. Combine Arrowroot powder and Bentonite Clay in bowl.
  3. Pour oil mixture into powder mixture and stir until there are no lumps.
  4. Add essential oils and stir until well mixed.
  5. Pour into empty deodorant container (mine was gifted to me but you can find them on Amazon or at other online aromatherapy supplies dealers websites)

 

I’ve used this new deodorant for a week now.  I’ve made sure to wear every color and style shirt conceivable and the verdict is I freakin’ love this stuff!!! I feel like my long quest for the perfect deodorant is finally over.  This, my friends, is my holy grail of DIY deodorants!!! I absolutely love that I get the fragrance of the Rosemary essential oil, with just a touch of the Lavender, in addition to the wetness protection from the Arrowroot and Bentonite Clay.  It goes on smoothly which I also really like. For what it’s worth though, I have two (small) constructive criticisms of the recipe. First, it does show up on black (but not white as I feared) fabric.  It is not any more visible than a white solid deodorant, however.  But if I was going to wear a black tank top, or little black dress if you’re more fashionable than me, I would probably just use my Rosemary oil neat to avoid the powdery bits.  And second, because it is pretty soft, which makes it glide on easily, it does tend to ball up a little bit in the creases of my armpit.  However, this is very short lived as the melting point of the Coconut Oil and Shea Butter is pretty low so after 30 minutes to an hour it is all absorbed and no more balls or clumps.

So there it is.  Try it out and let me know what you think!  Comment below with your results to help keep the conversation going!!!

 

I use only Young Living’s 100% pure, therapeutic grade essential oils.  Join Young Living to enjoy a 24% off discount.  Message me for more details or join today here!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. Products and techniques mentioned here are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Information here is in no way intended to replace proper medical help. Consult with the health authorities of your choice for treatment.

The Holy Grail of DIY Deodorant was originally published on Naturally Oily Adventures