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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Reducing Chemical Use – Make Your Own DIY Deodorant Spray Recipe

DIY DEODORANT RECIPEI haven’t been overly concerned about the safety of store bought deodorant, but knowing that skin is highly porous and what goes on it, goes through it, I’d rather not add more chemicals to my system.
Add to that the number of plastic casings consigned to the recycle bin I have wondered about an alternative but never put a whole lot of research into it.
Yesterday, I was stopped in my tracks by the dreaded “End of the deodorant” panic.
Not usually a big deal but I was running late for a meeting, no time to drive to Trader Joes for the one brand of deodorant that both works and doesn’t irritate my skin, and I really didn’t want to risk spending the next 2 hours in a stuffy office smelling like a dead ferret!
A quick search turned up lots of recipes here is the recipe that I used, as it contains ingredients we had in the kitchen and bathroom and I could gather, mix, and use in less than 5 mins.
If you’re worried about the aluminum or other unpronounceable chemicals in your deodorant and would like to make your own, here’s what you’ll need
1/2 cup Witch Hazel
1/4 cup Aloe Vera Gel (or juice)
1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
10 drops Clary Sage Essential Oil (apparently an effective deodorant essential oils with a refreshing scent!)
Add witch hazel, aloe vera, baking soda and your favorite essential oils to a small spray bottle and shake well before each use.
Spray on underarms. If you don’t like the “wet” feel of it…you can stand in front of a fan for a few seconds , gently pat dry with a towel or flap your arms like you’re doing the chicken dance, which also convinced the kids that mummy has gone bonkers!
*Important Note: Clary Sage Oil should be avoided during pregnancy.
1 application, 14 hours later and after a 1 hour hill hike (cool 65 degrees) it was time for the sniff test!
Self assessment – still smelled nice and skin not irritated.
Hubby (warily) – agreed the pits smelled ‘nice,’ but he is not always reliable as he will often try and guess what I might want to hear.
Kids – my harshest and bluntest of critics, agreed “quite nice, no BO, but I think you have really lost it this time!”
I’ll try it for a few more days and if I don’t any reaction then I’ll make some with different oils, I think next will be lavender.
Sunny Shrugz 50+ UPF Protect Your Arms and Shoulders From Sun Damage...With STYLE!
Sunny Shrugz 50+ UPF Protect Your Arms and Shoulders From Sun Damage…With STYLE!
NOTE – Just because something is ‘natural’ doesn’t automatically make it safe. I.e. arsenic, perfectly natural but if that was safe for human consumption Agatha Christie would have had a far less lucrative book deal!
NOTE- Even if it doesn’t have a warning label, because it’s safe for most people,  doesn’t mean you won’t react to it. I’d like to see any product containing raw onion  come with a skull and cross bones just so that I could avoid a nasty reaction.
Do be sensible, always test a little to see how YOUR skin likes it.
Have you tried making your own personal care items? How did it turn out?

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Zucchini Pancake – Makes a great appetizer or light lunch!

 zuccini pancakes pint
After our last batch of zucchini muffins I was left with several half grated zucchinis and the children thus far are still vehemently opposed to eating zucchini if not in cake form, if I want to use up leftovers and reclaim some space in the veg drawer I needed to get sneaky!
So last night I tried this recipe.
Apologies for lack of photo, I did cook a batch, they turned out pretty well (I thought) then I made my first mistake, I left them on the counter to be heated up for dinner whilst I went out for a quick pre-dinner run.
I was informed upon my return that, child 2 (the short and shouty one) “DOES NOT EAT NEW FOODS!”
So Child 1 had eaten a few with hummus, when child 2 saw big brother tucking in, she polished off a couple dipped in soy sauce, not to be left out “him-indoors” sprinkled a couple with hot sauce and a dollop of plain yogurt.
I came home to find my plate of pancakes had been pillaged!
I just got to wash the plate… (l did try the first one out of the pan, dipped in plum sauce, but not I’m telling them!)
You will need:
·         2 cups grated zucchini
·         2 large eggs, slightly beaten
·         2 tablespoons chopped green onion
·         1/2 cup all-purpose flour
·         1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
·         1/2 teaspoon salt & pepper
·         1/2 teaspoon baking powder
·         1 pinch dried oregano/basil/parsley /thyme (whatever you fancy)
·         1/4 cup vegetable oil,  as needed
·         1 garlic clove
·         half a cup of sour cream/plain natural yogurt
·         Optional – half a teaspoon or so of prepared horseradish
·         Optional – a dash of chipotle powder
1. In a large mixing bowl combine the drained zucchini, chopped green onions (or yellow onion lightly sautéed), herb mix (see above), one garlic clove, two eggs, salt, a healthy grind of black pepper, a dash of chipotle powder(I left this out as the kids don’t like it), and enough flour to pull it all together (about a half a cup or so).
2. Heat extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet, and while heating, make sour cream sauce:
3. Mix together a half a cup of sour cream, a half a teaspoon or so of prepared horseradish (or more depending on the strength of your particular brand), and a dash of salt and freshly ground black pepper.
4. Place heaping spoonfuls of the zucchini mixture into the hot pan, and cooked them for about two minutes per side, or until nicely golden brown (placing them onto a sheet pan in a 250º oven in between batches to keep them warm).
50+UPF Sunny Sleevez
Serve them up with a dollop of the horseradish cream and a few lemon wedges for squeezing over them. Alternate dips: hummus, soy sauce, plum sauce
Next time I’m going to try adding a grated carrot too
Let me know how yours turn out

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Waiting to exhale- FDA Bans Loose Powder SPF


Not only should you not rely on your mineral make up for sun protection but it may actually be harmful to your health is the message from the FDA.
The problem is that users cannot know if they are applying a thick and even coating to give any significant UV protection.
In addition many powered sunscreens contain titanium or zinc nano-particles when breathed in, these loose airborne particles can end up in our lungs. The International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies inhaled titanium dioxide as “possibly carcinogenic to humans.
Currently the FDA over-the-counter rules prohibit loose powders to make claims of sun protection or advertise an SPF, but small manufacturers have until December of this year to remove products from the market.
Instant, Chemical-Free Sun Protection You Never Have To Reapply
50+UPF Sunny Sleevez
What do you think of the FDA ruling? Do you use loose powder SPF make-up? Do you feel it works well for you?

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Breast Cancer Awareness Month- Stay Off The Grass!

A number of common herbicides (weed killers) have been linked to breast cancer. Several herbicides are made from chemicals known to be endocrine disruptors and are believed to be implicated in increasing the risk for breast cancer.
Not only do you want to avoid contact with these chemicals as an adult but it is particularly important to not use toxic weed-killers on lawns where children play. Youngsters spend more time lying directly on the grass; they also put their hands in their mouths more often and will even eat blades of grass.
With Smaller body weight children absorb higher levels of toxins and chemical exposure in very early in life may predispose an individual to be more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer later on.
Alternatives to use of chemical treatments include weeding by hand (good exercise), use of ground cover plants & artificial turf  which is ultimately more earth friendly as it means no more sprinklers but allows rain water through into the soil underneath and back into the water table.
Do you use herbicides? Do you have an alternative?

Friday, October 11, 2013

Don't Miss This Great Source of Calcium

Good Source of Calcium - Who knew that adding dried herbs would increase your calcium intake? Dried savory spice contains an impressive 2132mg of calcium per 100g serving. Other dried herbs that are calcium rich include basil, marjoram, thyme, dill, oregano, poppy seed, mint, celery seed, sage, parsley and rosemary. http://bit.ly/jvEa8M

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Health advocates raising concerns over BPA – breast cancer link is increasing.

BPA is believed to pose a risk to children, according to a September report from the Breast Cancer Fund, an advocacy group. The report found that Babies also are exposed in the womb.
A developing fetus is especially vulnerable during the first 11 weeks of pregnancy, says co-author Sharima Rasanayagam, director of science at the Breast Cancer Fund. “Everything is being developed” at this stage, she says. “The building blocks are being laid down for future health.”
The report cites 60 animal and human studies, all of which show links between prenatal BPA exposure to an increased risk of a variety of health problems, including breast cancer and prostate cancer  as well as neurological problems and decreased fertility.
Tufts University’s found that BPA increased the risk of mammary cancers in rats. In two studies of rhesus monkeys published in 2012 other researchers found that BPA disrupted egg development, damaged chromosomes and caused changes in the mammary gland that made animals more susceptible to cancer.
Worries over  possible links between the estrogen-like chemical BPA or bisphenol A and breast cancer led manufacturers to remove it from baby bottles and infant formula packaging however BPA is still used in many other  plastic items as well as  linings of metal food cans and cash-register paper receipts
The FDA also has expressed “some concern” about the potential effects of BPA and banned BPA in baby bottles in 2012, however manufacturers of metal cans continue to claim there’s no clear evidence that BPA linings cause harm.