One of the hardest parts of being plastic free is not having plastic wrap in the kitchen. Needing to store something in a large bowl that does not have a lid – sure you can try foil, but it just does not work. So this summer when we were in Spain – where Lékué products are everywhere – I found these silicon stretch tops! You can buy these on the Lékué site or amazon for example.
The stretch tops are designed to create a vacuum seal that allows you to preserve food inside or outside the refrigerator
I have been working hard to fix 2 things in my life. 1) Eating whole healthy food that will nourish my body. 2) Eliminating plastic use in my life (ok well and technically 3) learning Norwegian – but that is a whole ‘nother complicated mess of a story). Continue reading →
I have not posted anything in 3 months, so I figure it is time for an update. I have taken a no stress approch with this blog, my other 2 blogs (Expats and Design) keep me rather busy in the blog world. So I decided, on this one – when I post I post and I am not going to stress or worry about it. This post is going to be lots of random
In the book she goes food group by food group. A main point with her is eating local and seasonal. Local meaning the food was made/grown 150 mile / 240 kilometer circle around your house. The goal is to try to get as much of the food can this way. It has a few benefits 1) When it is local, it has not sat in a plane and on 5 trucks to get to the general store down the street from you – which means fresher and less pollution and 2) you have just put your money to good use in your area, not back up to the big companies. I get that everything you need cannot be made by you, but when you can give your money to farmer Joe and know that it is helping his family that is great. But when you can’t buy local, find a smaller store that maybe is family run and support their jobs. For me there are a few things that I need that are just not local like Olive oil, coconut oil, olives, some spices, coca powder.
Another thing in the book she talks about is whole fat dairy. Why are we modifying something so natural. Your body needs to absorb the nutrients in the milk – but shocker (and with all nutrients) you need fat to adsorb them. So when you think you are being healthy downing that glass o skim milk, it is just wasted. Butter also, not margarine or fake butter – get the real stuff and slather it on. This is where I can not explain or I would just have to copy chapters of the book here.. read the book for the real evidence of why the fat is good .. it does not cause heart and health issue. She also talks about ferments and sprouting. Go on read it!!
So since May we have switched even more to local food, and whole foods like butter, whole milk, whole yogurt with out all those sugars or preservatives. Every Saturday we go into to town, we go the the butchers, farmers market, sometimes the organic store and then the ‘normal’ store for the final things .. in that order. I love knowing I am supporting the locals.
In the book she mentions the Weston A. Price foundation (WAPF). So being the nerd I am I looked them up. There site is abit drab, so I looked around to see who was blogging about it. I found The Healthy Home Economist, Kelly the Kitchen Kop, and Cheeseslave. Through them I have been learning about good fats, traditional food preparation and eating nutrient dense foods. I could go on and on, but the best is if you are intersted in this ‘real food’ stuff then check out those blogs, watch there videos and get them in your rss – they are just a huge source of wisdom.
Dont’ worry, we are getting to the Paleo part. My thyroid is not up to par, as some of you may know. I found out that many people with a bum thyroid do not tolerate gluten. So through WAPF and those blogs mentioned, I found out about GAPS. Basically, GAPS is a program to heal your gut lining. Your gut is very important, when a child is being formed, the egg splits into two – the brain and the gut. Your guts bacteria can go bad if it is not take care of well and cause a slew of problem from diseases to heartburn. If your interested in more about GAPS or know someone that could benefit from it, read this article for an overview. Over the summer, I have been playing with the thought of going on GAPS starting in August. So on gaps there is no gluten for some time, so leading up to August I tried to cut as much gluten and grains out – instantly I felt better. I was shocked, I did not realize how much they made me feel like crap.
I got to googling around trying to find some grain free meals, taking away pasta, bread, oatmeal ect was going to take a mind shift. In time I came across Mark’s Daily Apple (MDA). Mark has a book out called the Primal Blueprint, and a blog full of great articles plus a forum with a great community of people to chat with.
Paleo (Primal / caveman / grok) is eating our ancestors would have way back in the caveman days. MDA has a great Primal 101 page full of the most important articles to get going, so I started reading through the majority of them. This also of the sudden just made perfect sense to me. You eat lots of vegetables, fish and meats, some fruit, some nuts, little dairy (which is debatable, but I do) and lots of fats! You are basically eating what was around in nature all those years ago – the time before hospitals and medicine cabinets – the time where people still lived and the world went on. You also are to exercise as they would – they have given ‘they’ a name, Grok. So you are to exercise and eat as Grok would have. I am working into the exercise part, but we go the food part down. A typical day for me now looks like this – Breakfast, bacon with 2 eggs fried in bacon fat. Lunch, massive salad of lettuce, olives, cheese, chicken, avocado, a soft boiled egg and some olive oil with a cup of whole milk. Dinner, large piece of meat or fish and a large serving of sautéed veggies in butter. Then dessert, I have chocolate banana ice cream (recipe will be coming) or a piece of dark chocolate or fruit. Snacks, hand full of nuts or some fruit.
I think that this video below is a nice overview of the primal life. However, as I mentioned before I am a dairy consumer. I think that it is on of the best things. The only thing I don’t agree with in the video is that he says we can’t process dairy. I get that some cannot. But I do not believe that raw natural dairy causes disease ect – I think the opposite, whole milk heals and nourishes. (and of course I am never going to get into religion or evolution on this blog, so just take the video for it’s facts)
So now I am living a Paleo + Traditional (Real Food + WAPF) way of life.. not a diet. I’ll have meat, fish, vegetables, fruit, nuts, and whole dairy such as yogurt, whole milk, cheese plus ferments that are pro-biotic – like kefir, kombucha, fermented vegetables, and sour cream ect. I feel great and am so happy to have found this path, I am looking forward to the results that come from it which should be better health and a longer happier life.
[I’ll be posting soon about the dangers of gluten, even for people who don’t think they are sensitive to them! Stay Tunned.]
How true is that! Just like Barbie gave me unrealistic expectations about my hips and thighs… but that is another story. Today, we talk about hair.
So another cat is coming out of the bag. I do not wash my hair. Yes, you heard (*read) that right, no shampoo or conditioners go on my hair. Just good ol’ water. If you have been following along, you know that earlier this year in attempt to get away from the dangerous chemicals in shampoo and conditioner, I switched to a natural alternative. I could not bear the idea that those chemicals were seeping into my skin! Read more about that here, it is a great option in my opinion – I just wanted to take it to another level.
So in March I decided to go ‘unwashed’. I read a series of articles (here, here and here) and as is typical with me, I decided to jump in and give it a go. Autumn, at the Beheld, was kind enough to give me some advice. And answer my many questions along the way. The first few weeks I kept my hair up, as I had been warned it was going to be an oily ‘break in’ period. Many people always say that their hair gets oily the next day, so they cannot imagine a week.. or even 2 days without shampoo. I thought the same thing too, growing up I was notorious for having greasy hair – My Dad can attest to it, it was always ‘Fonda wash your hair’ or ‘ Fonda, when was the last time you washed your hair’ or my favorite, ‘If you cannot remember when you last washed your hair it has been too long, go shower now’. Poor Dad, but maybe I was on to something as a teen : P.
You see, when you strip the natural oils off your hair everyday .. or every other day.. your scalp thinks that it needs to produce x amount of new oil every day to keep it healthy. So, you have to break your scalps habits. Which takes around 5-8 weeks – mine took 5 ish, while I have heard people say that theirs took more. There are a few tricks that I have picked up along the way.
For your ‘break in’ period, ponytails are great (and now that it is summer, you have a great excuse). If you wear your hair down it is going to be chunky – sorry I am not sure of another way to explain it, chunky seems to work best in this case. But that does go away with time..
Brush your hair as much as possible, every day if you can. Use a boar bristle brush, and work from the roots down to the ends. This helps distribute your oils and also massages your scalp. I have had two different boar bristle brushes. Make sure to test some out if you are not impressed. The first one I got was highly reviewed online, but I found it was not stiff enough to get through my hair, it just flattened on my head. But then my friend traveled to the UK and surprised me with a Diane brush, and it works so much better.
When you are having oily days, take some baby powder in your hands and run in into your scalp. Some days that are extra oily, I have sprinkled it right on my head and rubbed it (like a shampoo). I suggest to check this at night, then any ‘white residue’ while wear off in the night. If not, and you apply in the morning – just make sure you rub well or else you will appear to have greys. Oily days will continue even after the ‘break in’ they will just not be nearly as bad. Now I find most days are not oily.
Try to go as long as possible between rinses/washes. When you do ‘wash’ just do like normal but without the shampoo or conditioner. Scrub your scalp well, you do want to clean it and take care of the dead skin (sorry). I now try to ‘wash’ every 10 days. The reason I wait so long, is the day after a wash your hair … ok my hair.. freaks out. I think that my hair has gotten so used to the oils sticking around that when it gets ‘washed’ that it loses its bounce and looks icky – it is like it needs to dry out even after it is dry. I chatted with Autumn about this too, she agreed that it needs some breathing time after a wash. I find that it takes around 8 hours to do so. Also, I have found that it is much less ick if I ‘wash’ with warm and not hot water.
There are some great benefits to letting your hair go natural and take care of itself.
No more buying products that make tons of claims and drain the bank account. Water is free.
When your hair is naturally oiled up, you have this natural mouse like texture in it. It is rather hard to explain, but if you have long hair then think of the best mouse you have ever had in your hair. It is like that. If I want my hair to by curly, then it holds a curly. If I want straight hair, then it is straight. Without any products. Thats another thing Autumn over at The Beheld agrees with me about, she had the same realization too! I generally wear my hair down, wavy with abit of curl. I never need to do anything to it, it just stays and is light and airy. I think it is best described now as beach hair. But of course everyones will be different.
My hair is so healthy now, it feels healthy and it looks healthy! I would imagine yours would be too!
There is so much time saved. Not shampooing, no conditioning and waiting for the conditioner to soak in. No oil treatments. And, No getting up early to style – this obviously would not work if my hair did not have the tiny bit of curl I like and needed to curl my hair. But then again, that would be another world for me.
You use less water in the shower. Better on the hot water bill!
If you dont brush your hair for a few days (I tend to go like 5 sometimes, especially if I am really loving how it looks) you will be so surprised at how easily it brushes through. It is amazing. I always have had tangely hair, but now the natural oils keep it all apart. It is really great to just easily brush through it.
Then there are the cons, which I feel to be fair I need to point out. These don’t really bother me, but might bother you.
Your hair will smell like hair. Gasp! If you want a sweet or flowery smell, you can make a spray with some essential oils, but I have no desire too. For the first few weeks I had Ole regularly smell my hair (thanks for putting up with me!) and he said it is fine. He has been informed to say if it ever smells. So far 3 months in, no stink.
Yes, it can be greasy. Some days are more than others. But really just a bit of baby powder goes a long way. Apply it, brush it through if need be and the shiny oil is gone! Poof!
It is not exactly an easy or open topic to chat about. Kinda like with my ‘I don’t use toothpaste’ choice, you will get some odd looks if you talk about it. But really, who needs to know (unless like this post and you think it will help or inspire people).
This is definite something to consider. I am thrilled that I am not using chemicals and that I am saving loads of money. But if it is not for you, consider a more natural hair cleaning approach to avid the harsh chemicals – read this idea about ACV and Baking Soda. I will post an update in the future, in the meantime however- feel free to ask any questions you might have!
UPDATE Winter 2012:
I have now started to use (as I have talked about in the comments below) pure olive oil soap on my roots about once per week. I found that after some time, I just needed to get some of the ‘buildup’ of my scalp. I just was the roots/scalp and rinse it off, the rinsing part takes care of the rest of the hair – the soapish water runs over all my hair but does not dry it out. If I want to prolong the time between washes I just put a very small amount of baby powder on my roots and rub it in, not only does it take away any oily shine – it also is great for styling! It is still very easy to brush my hair, even if I have not brushed it for many days.
I have used the soap as a bar, just rubbing it on the scalp. While this worked for me, I wanted to have an option that was more ‘normal’ for Ole so I now liquidize it. I take around 700 ml of hot water and 1 block of soap (generally chopped up into smaller pieces, like 8). I leave this on the counter for a few days and shake it when i go past. This makes a nice thick creamy soap that we now use for ‘shampoo’, dish soap, and hand soap.
I have gotten many questions about dandurf. I do not seem to ever have dandurf anymore either. I see this as a bonus of this lifestyle of no/limited checmicals and eating how I do. I take magnesium and vitamin D3, they do wonders for the skin. I also am eating plenty of natural fats which nourish the skin. I think that if you are getting dandurf look into what you are eating, take some Cod Liver Oil and vitmin D3 and read up on the subject.