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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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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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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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