DIY Non-toxic Cream Deodorant

I have researched many deodorants and finally found one with great ingredients that actually worked. After using it for a while, I decided to make my own to save money. Should have done that months ago. It is so easy!

I avoid antiperspirants because we need to sweat. Sweating allows our body to release toxins. Another reason to avoid antiperspirants is because most contain aluminum (linked to Alzheimer’s). I also avoid parabens (linked to breast cancer), sodium laurel sulfate (registered as an insecticide), and propylene glycol (toxin).

Non-toxic Cream Deodorant

Ingredients:

6 Tbsp Coconut oil

6 Tbsp Baking soda

6 Tbsp Arrowroot powder

35 drops essential oils. (I like to use lavender. Another great combo is grapefruit and bergamot.)

Instructions:

  1. Pour the coconut oil, baking soda, and arrowroot powder into a bowl. Mix thoroughly with a spoon.
  2. Add the essential oils. (Use more if you want your deodorant to have a stronger scent).
  3. Mix again.
  4. Store your deodorant in a blue or brown glass jar. This recipe makes 1/2 cup of cream deodorant.

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You only need a small amount under each arm:

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This deodorant will harden a bit in colder temperatures and will be more creamy in warmer temperatures. If you prefer a thicker cream, you could add more baking soda and arrowroot powder.

In the warmer months, sometimes the coconut oil separates and rises to the top. When that happens, I give the whole mixture a quick stir before applying.

For those who don’t like DIY recipes, another fantastic non-toxic option is Young Living’s Meadow Mist and Mountain Mint Deodorants.

Carrying On a Legacy

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My dad died on July 9, 2014, at the age of 62. I loved him dearly. In the weeks immediately following his death, I felt compelled to carry on the legacy my father left, to focus on the good things he did and strive to make those things part of my daily life.

To extend a helping hand to those in need.

To stand by my family through good times and bad.

To spend time enjoying nature.

To share the love of Jesus.

To encourage the underdog.

To be silly and create a home filled with laughter.

To work hard at everything I do.

Every story or quote about my dad I share is shared to keep his spirit alive on earth. Every positive character trait of his I model allows others to experience his goodness and love.

As I carry on my dad’s legacy, I realize this is essence of the Christian life. In the purest sense, a Christian is a person who loves Jesus Christ dearly and lives to carry on His legacy of truth, faith, and love.

Every Bible story or quote I share is shared to keep His spirit alive on earth. Every character trait of Jesus I model allows others to experience His goodness and love.

We humans are prone to complicate the Christian life, making it about rules and preferences and politics. It’s none of those things. It’s simply a relationship with a perfect man who lived, died, and came back to life 2,000 years ago, a man who was and is The Son of God. It’s so beautifully simple a 4-year-old can understand and experience this relationship.

May we live to speak Jesus’ words, embrace the hurting, and encourage the broken as we carry on His legacy.

 

 

*This post is dedicated to my father and to the family of Sarah Harmening who recently shared Sarah’s last written words including this quote: “We are like a wisp of smoke. We are only here for a moment and it’s not about us. Life is not about us. It’s about God, who is eternal, so I want to dedicate the one moment I’m here completely and entirely to him.” Thank you, Harmening family, for carrying on the legacy of your daughter and of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

 

Photo credit: Monte Wyatt

Why I Chose Paleo

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The Paleo (Paleolithic) diet is based on the eating habits of humans as hunters/gatherers before people transitioned to lifestyles of “settled agriculture.” There are several variations of Paleo diets, but I tailored my diet to include meat, fish, vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, and eggs. I exclude dairy, grains, beans, pork, shellfish, and processed sugar.

A few people have told me the Paleo diet is too restrictive, that I can’t “enjoy my life” on this diet. When I hear that, in my head I’m laughing because they don’t understand what my life was like before Paleo.

Before Paleo

hypoglycemia
acne
chronic yeast infections
depression
asthma
lack of energy
hypothyroid
hormone imbalance
severe eczema
uncomfortable (and embarrassing) digestive problems
difficulty losing weight

After Paleo

blood sugar regulated
clear skin
controlled/healthy levels of yeast
no more depression
99% asthma improvement
lots of energy
99% thyroid improvement
hormones balanced
no more eczema
healthy gut
easy to lose weight

I definitely was not enjoying my life before Paleo. I was just trying to make it through the day. Now I am feeling great, loving life, and thriving! Yes, it was challenging to learn how to prepare Paleo meals, but it has been worth every minute of my time and effort. I would never consider going back to my old eating habits. I feel too good now. Why would I want to go back to feeling bad all the time?

Before I chose the Paleo diet, I did an elimination diet to determine which foods were causing me problems. Through the elimination diet and food allergy testing, I discovered I am intolerant to lactose and casein and sensitive to gluten. After eliminating dairy, gluten, and several other possibly offensive foods, I was still suffering from severe eczema. The only food group I hadn’t tried to eliminate was grains. As soon as I removed grains from my diet, the eczema began to disappear, and my inflamed, itchy skin began to heal. Since dairy and grains were causing problems for me, it made sense to follow the Paleo diet.

All disease begins in the gut.-Hippocrates-2

The Paleo diet is a gut-healing diet. It was no surprise that every diseased part of my body improved when I switched to the Paleo diet. As my gut healed, every body system began to heal, and balance was restored. Every marker on my blood work that was out of range (except one) has improved since switching to Paleo.

The Paleo diet is not for everyone. There is no such thing as the perfect diet because everyone has individual needs and food sensitivities. Researching and discussing different diets with your doctor or nutritionist would be wise. There are other helpful, gut-healing diets including GAPS, AIP, and FODMAP. I use the Road to Wellness workbook with my clients to help them determine which diet best fits them.

If you have had success with the Paleo diet or another gut-healing diet, I would love to hear your story in the comments. Thanks for stopping by today!

Sweet and Spicy Paleo Crockpot Chili

Hello Paleo comfort food!

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I used to love making (and eating) chili. I haven’t made it since I switched to a Paleo diet 3 years ago. No beans. How can you make chili without beans!?!

A Paleo chili recipe popped up in my Pinterest home feed a few weeks ago. Looked good. Made it. Blech. Not nasty enough to throw out but not chunky enough or tasty enough to make again.

I was determined. I tried to find the recipe I used pre Paleo. I couldn’t find it, but I did find another recipe for vegetarian chili that I must have used at one point. I used parts of that recipe with parts of the Pinterest recipe and added a few things I thought would make it work.

I just finished eating four bowls of it! It’s a keeper. But I’m a little too full.

Sweet and Spicy Paleo Crockpot Chili

Ingredients:

1 lb. ground grass-fed beef (or ground organic turkey)

28 oz. can diced tomatoes

10 oz. can diced tomatoes with jalepeno and cilantro (or whatever Mexican style tomatoes you can find)

10 oz. salsa ( I used medium heat. Use hot if you like chili very spicy!)

1 small yellow or white onion (diced)

1 small purple onion (diced)

1 green bell pepper (optional)

2 large sweet potatoes (peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks)

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp garlic

1 1/2 tsp ground cumin

2 Tbsp chili powder

Directions:

  1. Put ground meat in crock pot. Use a spoon to break into small chunks.
  2. Add all other ingredients to crock pot.
  3. Stir well.
  4. Cook on low for 5-6 hours.

 

*This recipe is also Whole 30 friendly.

DIY Non-toxic Laundry Soap

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I’m one of those people that says, “I will never…” Then months or years later I find myself doing exactly what I said I would not do. For years I said I would never teach my kids at home. Now we are starting our sixth year of homeschool. I also said, “I will never make my own household cleaners. I don’t have time for that! There are lots of natural brands out there. I will just use those.” And that’s what I did…until I did some research on Environmental Working Group and found many of the natural brands contain toxic, harmful ingredients. The laundry soap brand I was using got a B rating on EWG and included three ingredients with a D rating. These were the concerns cited for one of the ingredients: “cancer, developmental/endocrine/reproductive effects, damage to DNA, respiratory effects, chronic aquatic toxicity, general systemic/organ effects, digestive system effects, nervous system effects, skin irritation/allergies/damage, damage to vision.” This is from a brand that prides itself on being “non-toxic.”

Some brands with an A rating contain ingredients with a D rating.

So I decided to make my own non-toxic laundry soap. I searched Pinterest for recipes that did not require grating soap. First I tried a powder version. It did not clean our clothes well. Next I tried a liquid recipe. I was completely surprised that I do have time to make it! It only takes 15 minutes to make 2 gallons. It’s so easy a 10-year-old can make it, and it gets our clothes super fresh and clean. I use 1/3 cup per load, so 2 gallons makes enough soap for 96 loads. For a family of 4, I do about 10 loads of laundry per week, so one batch lasts me over two months.

I have been making my own laundry soap for about a year and absolutely love it!

When I did use store brands, I always bought fragrance-free laundry soap because I would have allergic reactions to the toxic, synthetic fragrances. Now that I make my own laundry soap, I use my all-natural Young Living essential oils to give our clothes a fresh, clean, non-toxic scent. Young Living essential oils are 100% pure and free from chemical additives and extenders, so I don’t have to worry about my family absorbing any chemicals from the laundry soap.

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Non-toxic Liquid Laundry Soap

Time: 15 minutes

Makes 2 Gallons (You can easily cut this recipe in half if you want to make 1 gallon.)

Ingredients/materials:

2-gallon bucket

2 gallons water

1/2 cup Super Washing Soda

1/2 cup baking soda

1/2 cup unscented liquid castile soap

40 drops of your favorite essential oils (I use Young Living Lavender.)

Large wooden or plastic spoon

2 1-gallon glass containers or 8 mason quart jars

Instructions:

  1. Pour washing soda into bucket. Add just enough hot water to cover the washing soda, and stir well to dissolve.
  2. Pour baking soda into bucket. Stir to dissolve.
  3. Fill your bucket with hot water close to the 2-gallon mark, leaving 1/2 inch of space on top.
  4. Add castile soap.
  5. Add essential oils.
  6. Stir well to mix.
  7. Use a ladle or measuring cup to pour laundry soap into glass containers.

Use 1/3 cup laundry soap per load. This soap is safe to use in HE washers.

Check out my DIY laundry stain spray. It’s great to use with this soap!

 

Thanks to Dwelling in Happiness for the inspiration for this recipe!

Young Living Make-and-Take Fall Party

I had a great time opening my home to friends for my first Make-and-Take party on Thursday! Check out what we made below.

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Pumpkin Spice Room Spray

So yummy smelling! Really, what is fall without pumpkin spice? Young Living Clove essential oil provides antioxidant and digestive support, and you can use it when you have physical discomfort. Young Living Orange essential oil promotes relaxation, supports your circulatory system, and can uplift your mood. Young Living Cinnamon essential oil provides immune and circulatory support.

Ingredients:

2-ounce brown/blue glass spray bottle

1.5 ounces distilled water

1 tsp witch hazel (with alcohol to help disperse the oil)

3 drops Young Living clove essential oil

3 drops Young Living orange essential oil

1 drop Young Living cinnamon essential oil

Directions:

Using a measuring cup and funnel, pour distilled water into glass bottle.

Using a dropper, put 1 tsp of witch hazel into bottle.

Put 3 drops clove oil in bottle.

Put 3 drops orange oil in bottle.

Put 1 drop cinnamon oil in bottle.

Add a little more distilled water to top off bottle.

Put top on bottle.

Add a label to bottle.

Gently shake bottle before spraying.

Enjoy a pumpkin-fresh-smelling house!

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Alternative for pregnant women:

7 drops of Young Living Citrus Fresh essential oil (instead of clove, orange, and cinnamon) Citrus Fresh oil blend contains Tangerine, Orange, Mandarin, Lemon, Grapefruit, and Spearmint essential oils. Citrus Fresh is energizing, purifying, and it promotes mental clarity.

You can also make a bigger batch of this spray by using

16-ounce blue/brown glass spray bottle

14 ounces distilled water

2 Tbsp witch hazel (with alcohol)

24 drops clove oil

24 drops orange oil

8 drops cinnamon oil

Lavender Lemon Detox Bath Salts

So relaxing and soothing! Young Living Lavender essential oil supports healthy skin and promotes relaxation. Young Living Lemon essential oil is cleansing and provides immune and circulatory support. Epsom salt soothes sore muscles, increases circulation, and promotes relaxation. Baking soda is alkalizing and is known for drawing toxins out of your body.

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Ingredients:

8-ounce glass jar with lid

1/2 cup Epsom salt

1/4 cup baking soda

5 drops Young Living lavender essential oil

5 drops Young Living lemon essential oil

Directions:

Using a funnel, add Epsom salt to bottle.

Using a funnel, add baking soda to bottle.

Put 5 drops lavender oil into bottle.

Put 5 drops lemon oil into bottle.

Use a knife or spoon to stir mixture.

Use a spoon to add more Epsom salt and baking soda to top off bottle.

Stir again, and put lid on bottle.

Add label to bottle.

Add 1/2 cup to bath.

I also talked about the amazing Premium Starter Kit!

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Want to get your own starter kit? Click here!

Thanks to Pamela Smerker Designs and Lemons, Lavender, and Laundry for the inspiration for the recipes.

Summer Vegetable Sauté

Summer is winding down, and some people are looking forward to fall and cooler temps, but many people (especially in the South) are still harvesting delicious veggies from their gardens and picking up great produce at their farmer’s market.

Chefs know sauté means to fry quickly over high heat, but I encourage you turn the heat down and cook this dish a little slower to retain the vitamins and minerals that are so easily lost when cooking over high heat.

I like to make this as a side dish, but you could also make it a meal by adding cooked chunks of chicken. Cook up this healthy dish before summer’s end!

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Summer Vegetable Sauté

Prep: 10 min. Cook: 15 min. Total time: 25 min.

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp ghee or grass-fed butter*

1 1/2 cups asparagus (ends trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces)

1 1/2 cups green zucchini (cut into bite-sized pieces)

1 1/2 cups yellow crookneck squash (cut into bite-sized pieces)

1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes (cut in half)

1/2 cup purple onion (cut into 1-inch chunks)

2 cups cooked chicken (optional)

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp salt

2 tsp Italian seasoning

pepper to taste

Directions:

Melt the ghee in a 10-inch frying pan over medium-low heat.

Add all ingredients and stir occasionally.

Cook for about 15 minutes until crisp tender.

 

*Paleo means dairy and grain free. Strict Paleoists do not eat butter. Ghee is clarified butter (the lactose and casein proteins have been cooked out of the butter). Although ghee is technically butter (dairy), I use ghee in my recipes because it is free of the common allergens that bother many people. Use ghee if you are following the Whole30 diet.

Three Reasons to Choose Young Living Essential Oils

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When you choose Young Living essential oils, you can answer YES to ALL of these questions! Does the oil company…

  • own their own farms and grow organically, without use of pesticides and weed killers?
  • plant non-GMO, superior seeds from quality grown plants, in regions native to the plant?
  • use plant-based nutrients and worm composts for superior growth?
  • harvest at the peak of growth cycle according to Brix scale testing?
  • distill at an appropriate temperature and duration to retain ALL plant compounds?
  • use only stainless steel distillers to avoid aluminum contamination?
  • harvest sustainably and replant what is taken?
  • test oils multiple times for purity, in addition to third-party testing?
  • throw out batches that do not meet standards, even though it means losing money?
  • bottle and seal their own oils, ensuring purity, with a “Seed to Seal” promise?

Only Young Living can answer YES to all these questions!

When you enroll as a wholesale member with Young Living, you get an absolutely amazing support network that simply does not exist with a purchase from a health food store or any other company. Joining our YL team, however, gives you access to amazing support: Facebook groups, training opportunities at home and away, books and resources galore. Whether you’re using oils just within your own family or whether you are sharing them with friends, the wealth of knowledge and expertise easily available is one of the best benefits of being part of Young Living. When you choose Young Living, you choose a lifetime of EDUCATION and WELLNESS!

Young Living supports and funds humanitarian work around the globe. I am proud to be part of a company that is diligently working to build schools and orphanages, bring relief to those devastated by natural disasters, provide medical relief to people in Uganda, and rescue victims enslaved by human trafficking. Young Living members also have opportunities to travel with other Young Living members on service trips to help these organizations in person. When you choose Young Living, you choose to bring hope and healing to hurting people around the world!

For more information on the Young Living Foundation, click here.

Want more info on Young Living essential oils? Click here!

Freedom!

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Are you in bondage? That’s a question you don’t usually hear on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Some could say they have never been asked that question. Is it even possible for a born-again follower of Jesus Christ to be in bondage (enslaved, imprisoned, or held captive by lies, addictions, fear, etc.) Some would say, “Of course!” while others would disagree. The Bible says it is possible: “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourself be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1) The author Paul wrote this sentence to Christian believers.

Beth Moore used this truth to introduce her Bible study Breaking Free. God brought this study into my life in the spring of 2016, and it is undoubtedly the best, most powerful Bible study I have ever done. It changed my life.

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According to Beth, “A Christian is held captive by anything that hinders the abundant and effective Spirit-filled life God planned for her.”

Do you love your life? Would you say you are living an abundant life, or do you feel like you are just trying to get through the day or week? Or maybe you are happy but feel there is something missing in your life. Is your life effective for Christ? Are you bearing the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control), or is your life characterized by hate, discontentment, anxiety, impatience, and selfishness?

For many years I lived in bondage to fear, anxiety, anger, pride, and insecurity. I was addicted to pleasing people, and I did not love my life. All while I was walking with Jesus. I definitely received many blessings from God and had many happy moments, but deep down, I knew something was wrong. No matter how hard I tried, I could not break free from these sins. I was imprisoned by them.

I have always been an emotional “stuffer.” My default reaction to any negative emotion was to push it way down, ignore it, and hope it would go away with time. Those emotions never went away. They were stored in my mind and body, and they didn’t go away until I  dug them up, dealt with them, and released them by laying them at the feet of Jesus. This was my first step toward freedom.

Forgiveness was my second step. I made a list of all the people who had harmed me with their words or actions since I was born. There were 30 people on the list! I forgave each and every person on that list. I found tremendous freedom in forgiveness. I didn’t realize it, but before I forgave them, I was actually in a prison of bitterness and resentment. When I was a slave to bitterness, it was impossible to love the people who harmed me. The moment I forgave them, the prison was door was opened, and I was free to love those people with Christ’s love.

The third step in receiving freedom was knowing my identity and worth in Christ. For almost 40 years I believed the lie that my identity and worth comes from my accomplishments and people’s opinions of me. I had heard many teachers say our identity and worth as Christians comes from Christ alone. He created us, adopted us into His family, and called us His children. That’s our identity: a child of the Most High God, a prince or princess. Our worth is priceless, not because of our accomplishments or accolades but only because we are treasured children of God. I knew that in my head, but I did not believe it in my heart. I wanted to believe it, but I did not have the faith to believe it. I asked God many times to give me the faith to truly believe I am a treasured princess. God took me on a very difficult journey where He stripped away all I was clinging to until all I had left was Him. Through that journey God gave me the faith to believe that my worth comes from being a princess of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

After Jesus healed my emotions, freed me from a prison of lies, and gave me the faith to know my identity in Him, I thought I was good to go. I thought I was totally free. But God had a few more things He wanted to teach me. Enter Breaking Free. Jesus walked with me through that study and helped me understand more of His truth about freedom from the lies of our Enemy. It was an amazing journey, and by the end of the ten weeks, I knew I was completely set free. I have never been so happy in my life. I am at peace with my past, present, and future.

My prayer for every person reading this is that by God’s grace and power you will break free from whatever prison is holding you back from the abundant life God has for you (John 10:10). May you experience total freedom!

“He sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners” Isaiah 61:1

“There is power in the name of Jesus to break every chain.” Jesus Culture

I would love to hear your story. How has God set you free?

 

 

 

Photo credit: Christian Wallpapers (Psalm 107:14)

DIY Non-toxic Laundry Stain Spray

Save money by making this lemon oil-infused stain spray that is safe for your family and friendly to the environment. And it’s super easy to make!

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Total time: 5 minutes
 
1/4 cup liquid castille soap
1/4 cup liquid vegetable glycerin
10 drops Young Living Lemon essential oil
1 1/2 cups water
 
Pour all ingredients in a 16-ounce blue or amber glass spray bottle (some essential oils eat through plastic, and the dark glass protects your spray from UV light damage).
 
Shake before each use.
 
Spray directly on stain.
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For tough stains, you might have to treat and wash more than once. Do not dry the clothing item in between applications. Drying will set the stain in the cloth.
 
This spray has not discolored any of our clothes, but you can test on an inconspicuous area first if desired.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Thanks to Life Is Poppin’ for the inspiration for this post.