I have used all the deodorants. For most of my 20's I was an Arrid XX Dry ONLY kinda girl. My pits aren't delicate flowers. They need extra extra help smelling the best ;). But.. As I learned more and more about living a healthier lifestyle, the deodorant thing kept coming up as an unhealthy choice that I could change and potentially make a huge impact on my future health.
1) At the VERY LEAST switch to an aluminum free deodorant ( usually with no antiperspirant) When in doubt, check the label. I very often use men's deodorant because most are strictly deodorant with no antiperspirant and we already have it in the house because i have a husband. Sure I smell a little manly, but it's better than nothing on days when I have to leave the house.
2) Experiment with making your own! It only takes a handful of ingredients and doesn't take much time. I like this coconut oil deodorant recipe a lot for controlling the stink, but it was a little messy to apply and seemed to get used up pretty quickly, I'm guessing because it was softer than a traditional deo. This recipe had a great consistency, and I believe with some tinkering, it could have become a winner. Alas, I did not tinker, and in its current state, it did not protect the senses from the assault of my pits. If I were going to make my own deodorant again, this is the recipe I would start with. Also, Wellness Mama has an AMAZING blog with recipes for almost any homemade skincare product you can think of, and lots more.
3) Try straight baking soda. I really liked using baking soda. I never smelled bad when i was using it, but it made my armpits break out. It could have been the quality of baking soda I was using, and I'd be willing to try again with some high quality naturally sourced (instead of chemically created) baking soda. Here's a great explanation of the difference in quality of baking soda.
4) Try Native deodorant. I *hear* that it's the best ever. So I ordered some! It hasn't come in the mail yet, but I have very high hopes.
5) Truly go without. If you are at home, there's barely any reason to use deodorant at all. I have gotten very used to skipping deodorant simply because it was the best option available at the time. It's easier than you think to go without, even if you don't smell like a rose at the end of the day.
6) Check Etsy and find someone else who can make your deodorant for you. The only problem with that is the trial and error that may be involved, same as with making your own or trying different store brands. Looking back, I would actually go this route instead of wasting my money on anything from a box store.
7) Don't give up! I have been searching for a natural deodorant for YEARS. but I do believe it's one of those things that's actually worth the work. I just refuse to give in on this one! It may be the wannabe homesteader in me, searching for the DIY and healthier way of doing things, but I do not believe that smelling sweet all the time is worth the risks of traditional deodorant for myself or my family. I want my kids to have safer and healthier options right from the get-go. Maybe I can figure it all out so they never have to use an unhealthy deodorant! Share your best natural deodorant tip with me in the comments because I'm open to all the suggestions you might have!
Sourcing Local Food
There are a million reasons why you should eat food grown in your own yard, but gardening has its own set of troubles and requirements. So, if for some reason you can't grow your own garden, FIND SOMEONE WHO CAN. Go to the farmer's market and eat all the locally grown foods you can find there! The bonus is, it's probably even cheaper than the grocery store, and twice as delicious. Or, if you don't have much space, consider planter boxes on the porch, deck, terrace, or windowsill filled with cherry tomatoes and cucumbers. Go to your friend or family member with a huge garden and ask if you can plant a corner there, or barter for veggies. There's a time in August when every person with a garden in Kentucky is giving away zucchini because they can't eat any more. Ask around! Someone has homegrown food that you can access. This week we picked up our meat from a local, sustainable farm instead of picking it up at the grocery when we went. The quality is outstanding, and the price was only moderately more. I was so pleased! We got 10lbs of ground beef, one whole chicken, a beef roast, and 2 lbs of sausage for $104. That amount would have probably cost us around $85 at the grocery store, and this has infinitely better quality, is from my hometown where I have seen how it was raised, and I get to support a friend in the process. I know we are supremely fortunate to have access to such great quality meat right here in our hometown, but I would venture to guess that whatever it is you are wanting find locally that you can probably find it if you just look around a little bit.
Tips for Finding Locally Grown Food
Central Kentucky Local Food Sources
Pike Valley Farm
Terrapin Hill Farm
The Nutrition Center
Your Farmer's Market
Whole Foods/Trader Joe's
If you know of any other local and sustainable food sources in central Kentucky, please share them with me and I will add them to the list!
Next time you eat at an ethnic restaurant, look to see if there is a store nearby! Next door to our favorite indian restaurant there is a store that sells Indian foods and goods. While not all things there will be local, they will usually be of good quality and "local" to that ethnicity. Plus you'll find great deals on bulk spices and ingredients. specific to that type of food. We always make sure to check out the Japanese markets, Mexican tiendas. and Indian stores because we love to eat culturally diverse foods and that's where you'll find the most authentic foods for each culture.
I don't claim to be an expert at most things. But this? I know steel cut oats. And I definitely know the cookies that come after the oats.
Steel cut oats take a long time to prepare, usually 45 minutes to and hour. I do NOT like standing at the stove for an hour stirring and waiting and stirring and waiting. Follow this tip to change your steel cut oat game. I don't remember where I heard it many years ago when I first started cooking oats (Maybe in the book Nourishing Traditions?) but I'll never forget this simple solution.
The Leftover Oatmeal Cookie Guide
Like the photo says, These are the ingredients:
I'm excited to include these video instructions as well, because sometimes, you just need a visual! These were all broadcast live on Periscope, so you may see some interaction with viewers thrown into the instruction, but all the good info is still in there.
Steel cut oats are good for you, inexpensive, and even if you don't love oatmeal, the cookies that follow the oats are the bomb. I love making something that all my kids love. They all love oatmeal, and they love these cookies. They are an excellent option for an after school snack, a quick breakfast, or a late night snack made from whole ingredients instead of junk.
It's really the best part of YouTube videos, getting to see the weird faces that pop up on your thumbnail. I guess 1 out of 5 isn't too bad ;)
If you made it all the way through to the end, I'm super mega impressed! Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by Hearth and Caravan to learn about making oats. Please leave your questions or comments here or find me @hearth_caravan on Twitter, Instagram, and Periscope and here on Facebook. I would love to hear if you make steel cut oats regularly, or if this post has inspired you to start doing so!
We're all at different places in our journey to a simpler life, in different parts of the country, with different finances. But one thing we can all do to move toward a simpler lifestyle is make our own bread. (Even if you don't eat bread, stick around, this applies to you too!) For those of you who do eat bread, go get the ingredients, mix them up, knead your dough and bake your own loaf of bread.
The reason for this is threefold:
I believe that we homesteaders (that includes homestead wannabes!) are creators and generally want to be conscious of the foods we put into our bodies. Even so, I don't know how many times we have fallen back on store bought bread for a meal of sandwiches or toast. BUT, if you schedule in the time to make homemade bread once or twice a week, I really believe that some part of your homesteader's soul will be satisfied. Even if you're not able to grow a garden this year. Even if you live in the middle of a booming metropolis. Even if no other part of your life is centered around this ideal. Then, when you do fall back on sandwiches, or toast with cream cheese for a meal, it won't feel like a fall-back at all.
My favorite bread recipes are usually a half wheat, half white mix with honey or molasses and butter or coconut oil.
If you are low-carbing it, doing paleo, gluten free, or otherwise have dietary restrictions, it may not be bread for you. It may be corn tortillas you are making from scratch, or cream cheese pancakes, or anything that would be a good option for you to have on-hand and consume with more confidence, knowing exactly what's in them, and putting your own hand into the making of them.
So, this week, make some bread! Share with me in the comments or on Twitter using #hearthandcaravan . Share the recipe you used and if you felt like it made a difference in your life.
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