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March 13, 2014

an attempt be more natural

Over the past several years, I have had increasing interest in the presence and influence of chemicals that are in products we use daily, that may (or may not) be doing us harm.  Given that everyday I age, I notice an increasing amount of sunspots, gray hair (posts on that here and here), acne, wrinkles, aches, pains, you name it. And as I have noticed these changes, the amount of products in my arsenal to fight these aging processes grows.  But when reading about what actually goes into each product, the chemical used to keep the product from growing bacteria, or the chemical used to turn your skin a darker hue, I am beginning to get skeptical.  Especially given the increasing rates of cancer and other allergies and diseases that are running wild now.
Disclaimer: I'm not a researcher and I don't believe that household products are solely responsible for cancer, I just have read enough to believe that the food we eat (processed) and the products we use daily do influence the way our body functions as it breaks it down and metabolizes it. 

It is overwhelming to try to cut out chemicals in our everyday life, so I've compiled a little list of the small ways that I have been able to make changes by adding natural habits, that are manageable and have made a difference.

1. Face mask. Ingredients: Organic honey and lemon juice. Honey is a natural anti-inflammatory and antibiotic.  Lemon juice is acidic (great for acne prone skin) and brightens skin tones.  Mix about 2-3 tbsp of honey and the juice from 1/2 lemon.  Leave the mask on for 15-20 minutes and then wash off and moisturize as usual afterwards.  I only use this about once a week.

2. Coconut oil for EVERYTHING! Coconut oil (unpressed and organic) is an amazing moisturizer, whether used on skin or hair! I tried a natural shampoo and conditioner regimen that my hair protested to greatly, but I continue to occasionally use a coconut oil spray (1 tsp. coconut oil mixed with water in a spray bottle) in the shower for a little boost of moisture.

3. Apple Cider Vinegar.  This is one that I have such a love/hate relationship with.  When we first moved here, Seth and I read an article about the benefits of ACV on your digestive tract first thing in the morning.  We started drinking little "shots" before we even had coffee, and it is the most bitter way to wake up, hence the "hate".  ACV has antibiotic properties, is great for the intestinal tract, plus it contains pectin, which soothes intestinal spasms, fighting indigestion, and can even alleviate hiccups.  It can also boost energy acting as an antidote against the buildup of lactic acid caused by exercise or extreme stress.  (One article with more on that here).

4. Essential Oils.  The only one that I've been head over heels for is eucalyptus oil. I've been sick with respiratory infections so much this past year (thanks to working in an ER), that I keep a little bottle of this in my purse for times when I am congested and can't breath.  Rubbing this oil below your nose or on your chest provides immediate relief for congestion and also smells pretty nice!

Anyone else trying some new ways to live more naturally?

**happy thursday**

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