4 Natural Deodorant Alternatives

Deodorant is intended to inhibit bacterial growth with the use of an antiseptic (the bacteria is what causes the odor). Deodorants do not reduce perspiration, though, so they are simply considered a cosmetic, rather than a drug like antiperspirants (interfere with an essential function of the body (perspiration)

Antiperspirants rely on aluminum based compounds like to block the pores from producing sweat.  Most antiperspirants include a deodorant of some kind, too, to mask any odors that might slip through after it begins to lose its effectiveness.

We are learning more and more each day about the dangers of many of these commercial brand body care products and the toxic ingredients like parabens (absorbed through the skin, mimic estrogen) that have been found to be linked to  breast cancer.  I have found that alot of customers are asking what alternatives are there to their over the counter deodorant.  Here are some alternatives to keeping your pits healthy and your body a little safer from those cancer causing antiperspirants.

Baking soda and cornstarch

 baking-soda

Using baking soda as a deodorant is the simplest way to combat body odor without subjecting your pits to a variety of chemicals. Mix an eighth of a teaspoon of baking soda with a little bit of water, don’t dissolve it, and rub it under your arms.  There are some who need to combat both odor and wetness so you can also create a baking soda and cornstarch mix to fight odor and help keep wetness down. Simply mix one part baking soda with six parts cornstarch and dust a little on your underarms.

 

Lemon juice

 Lemon

The citric acid in lemon juice can kill odor-causing bacteria, and there are people who swear by the lemon deodorizing method.
Just be sure not to apply lemon juice to recently shaven armpits!

Citric Acid 

 

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Now I know everyone may not want to use lemon juice especially after shaving.  Here is a recipe for a less stinging use of citric acid.

1/2 cup distilled water

1 tsp Citric acid crystals

10 drops of an essential oil

Pour that mixture into a small spray bottle and spritz your underarms

 

 

Homemade deodorant

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Making your own deodorant is a simple proccess that allows you to customize your deodorant to your needs and preferences.
Here is a simple recipe
1/4 cup baking soda
1/4 cup cornstarch
3 tbs of  coconut oil
10-20 drops of essential oil, tea tree & peppermint work verywellMix baking soda & cornstarch  and add enough coconut oil to get a good paste consistency. Add about 10-20 drops EO and mix well. Store in air tight container.A little goes a long way.

 

7 DIY Ways To Exfoliate Naturally

Many of us have some kind of facial exfoliate in our medicine cabinet.  I am sure some of those products contain the exfoliate beads which many dermatologists are big proponents of.  There are now findings that they these beads are not biodegradable and with the continued use of these products that contain these round tiny PLASTIC balls, recent research has proven that these little balls are going down the sink drains and into the lakes and oceans confusing marine life into thinking they are food. Dont panic here are some natural exfoliates that can do just as great a job if not better than those beads. Maybe one is right for you!

 

 

       Fine Grains 

oatsalmond meal

oatmeal                                                                         almond-meal

Something you have in your pantries: Oatmeal and almond-meal scrubs are made with finely ground natural fibers that gently open your pores, making these scrubs a safe bet for sensitive skin on the chest and face. Oatmeal can also soothe inflammation and skin irritations.

Sugar

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Sugar is well received by most skin types because it dissolves quickly, and it’s a humectant, (draws moisture to the skin), leaving you soft and hydrated. Aside from relieving dryness on your arms and legs, sugar works well as a lip scrub as well.

Shells and Seeds

walnut-shell-powder-250x250Products_Seeds

walnut shell                                                                        fruit seeds

Now there are some natural exfoliates that are a bit more abrasive for those rougher extremities.  The angular edges of ground walnut shells, raspberry, strawberry or grape seeds help loosen rough patches on elbows, knees, and ankles. I dont recommend these to be used on your face for those with sensitive skin because the gritty texture could inflame.  Use shell-based scrubs on your face and chest only if they’ve been crushed to a fine powder.

Rice

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Asians use their food staple, rice, as both an internal and external benefit for the well being of their bodies. —ground uncooked rice has been used as a skin-care staple for centuries.  It’s a delicate buffer for both oily and easily irritated skin and can treat pesky rashes or inflammation like eczema, and rosacea.

Coffee

coffee

Add olive oil, almond oil or another light carrier oil to a handful of grounds from your coffee pot–or use a pre-made scrub and massage over your body in the direction up from your feet toward the heart). The movement plus the caffeine can help reduce puffy areas that fill with fluid.

Salt

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Salt does have some sharp edges and a very coarse texture. The benefit of this more abrasive scrub is its sloughing action can be stimulating enough to increase circulation, and if the salt is crushed to a superfine powder, it can be used on the face to draw away water, offering a less oily or shiny look.

Exfoliate Brush

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Using a dry, natural bristle brush on dry skin, start at your feet and gently glide the brush bristles against your skin, using upward strokes toward your heart. This should only take about 3-4 minutes for your entire body. Skin should be cleansed and then moisturized directly after this treatment.

The Power of Basil

When I started my garden this past Spring with my little one (Shadow is what I call him) it was for the intent of getting him more interested in trying foods and seeing how foods many foods grow from a seed and become the foods we eat.  Seeing how our foods have been hijacked by GMO’s and toxic pesticides was another reason I wanted to start taking control of more of the foods that were once deemed good for us now if they come from a store are suspect.  At least I know growing in my garden what we are feeding it with and what we are using to deter pests.  What started out as a learning lesson for both of us soon grew into a labor of love.  I have been meeting some interesting people along the way with learning new things about gardening and getting the most out of our produce growing.  I even got involved with an organization, Stir the Pot, https://www.facebook.com/HelpStirThePot that is really doing some big things with helping to feed the homeless and just all around teachers of growing your own produce.

I wanted to grow everything but I realized I was still a newbie and had more learning to do about benefits-of-basil-leaves-for-skinsome produce.  I learned about investing in growing herbs and how beneficial and natural deterrents many of them were to many unwanted pests that were trying to get at our crops.  One particular herb, basil was at the top of my list for having because for 1 I wanted to add to my spaghetti sauce, and yes the flavor is in a whole other world.  The freshness is just something that will keep you from going back to store-bought.  I began doing more research on this herb and my findings lead me to learn it was more than just a flavor booster in your foods but also a great asset to have for many other issues both inside and outside of the body.

Basil for Skincare Needs

As far as skin care is concerned, basil leaves are an excellent skin rejuvenate which have the potential to ward off skin diseases, thus providing you with a clearer and healthier skin. Whether eaten raw or applied as paste, basil leaves offer a host of benefits for your skin.

  •  Prevention of Acne and Pimples:

Basil leaves prevent the outburst of acne and pimples as they purify your blood by removing toxins. They contain anti-bacterial and anti-fungal agents and you can apply a paste of these leaves mixed with sandalwood paste, neem paste or rose-water to prevent inflammation.

  •  Beneficial for Facial Skin:

Rubbing dried basil leaves on your face improves your facial skin in many ways, giving it a younger and fresher appearance. Applying a paste of basil leaves on your face and neck improves your skin tone.

  •  Prevention of Blackheads:

Basil leaves also prevent the appearance of blackheads. Wet the top side of the basil and place one leaf on each side of your nose for 5 minutes. After this take it off and wash your face.

  •  Treatment of Skin Infections and Ringworms:

Due to their anti-bacterial, anti-biotic and anti-fungal properties, basil leaves can restrict the growth of bacterium like E coli and B anthracis which cause skin infections. A concoction prepared by grinding and boiling 200-250 grams of basil leaves with equal quantity of sesame seed oil can be applied on the skin to cure itching. A mixture of ground basil leaves and lemon juice can be applied on the skin to treat ringworm.

 

Here is a wonderful recipe to help deter those pesky pimples:

Basil anti-pimple remedy     Homemade-Masks

Ingredients

  • 5 basil leave
  • 5 neem leaves
  • 5 drops of lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Honey

Application

  • Grind basil and neem leaves together to form a paste.
  • Add lemon juice and honey to this paste and mix well.
  • Apply mixture as a face pack and leave on for 25-30 minutes.
  • Wash with water pat dry with a clean towel.

The combination of basil and neem (or Karanja oil) is very effective in fighting acne problems. Lemon works as an astringent while honey hydrates dry skin.

 

This little herb with the big leaves also benefits your body in these ways too:

Basil for the Body

  •  Treatment of Common Cold and Cough:

Basil leaves are effective in alleviating coughing and colds. Chewing fresh leaves or drinking a tea of dried basil leaves can calm coughing and relieve cold and flu. Basil leaves are used as an ingredient in cough syrups and expectorants and help to mobilize mucus in bronchitis and asthma.

  •  Treatment of Sore Throat:

A concoction made by boiling basil leaves in water can be taken as a drink or used for gargling to get relief from sore throat.

  •  Heal Stings and Bites:

Chewing a basil leaf or applying the juice of basil leaves on the area stung or bitten by an insect will help relieve the pain as well as draw the venom out.

  •  Beneficial for Children:

The juice of basil leaves is extremely beneficial in case of common pediatric such as cough, cold, diarrhea and vomiting. Basil leaves taken with saffron hasten the appearance of chicken pox pustules. Children experiencing loose motion at the time of tooth eruption can be given a mixture of pomegranate juice and powder of dried basil leaves for quick relief.

  • Relief from Frequent Vomiting:

If you are suffering from frequent vomiting, you can try having a mixture of basil leaves juice, ginger juice and honey for immediate relief.

  • Relieve Stress and Sharpen the Mind:

Basil leaves are considered as an ‘adaptogen’ or anti-stress agent. Chewing around 12 basil leaves twice a day on a regular basis purifies your blood, prevents stress and develops a sharp mind.

  • Beneficial in Cancer:

Having a mixture of 10 grams of juice of basil leaves in 20-30 grams fresh curd or 2-3 spoons of honey religiously is said to help cure cancer.

  •   Aid in Weight Loss and Curb Laziness:

Basil leaves taken with home-made fresh curd help in reducing excess weight and fight laziness by renewing your energy levels and facilitating new blood cells formation.

  •  Beneficial for Eyes:

Being rich in vitamin A, basil leaves play an important role in eye health. You can soak a few basil leaves in water and wash your eyes with them every morning and before going to bed to prevent conjunctivitis, swelling, inflammations, boils and other infections. Basil leaves act as relaxants for your eyes to sooth stress induced fine lines. Chewing a couple of basil leaves helps to ward off eye problems caused by free radicals such as vision degeneration, cataracts and glaucoma. Basil leaves juice is an effective remedy for sore eyes and night blindness.

  •  Dental Health:

Basil leaves can be dried in the sun, powdered and used for brushing teeth or mixed with mustard oil to be used as toothpaste for maintaining dental health and massaging the gums. It is also effective in curing pyorrhea and other teeth disorders. The anti-bacterial agents in basil leaves prevent bacteria build up whereas the antioxidants ensure clean plaque free teeth.

  •  Help to Get Rid of Bad Breath:

Bad breath can be detrimental to your self-confidence. Basil leaves can be a healthy substitute to special toothpastes and chewing gums to ward off bad breath. You can chew a handful of basil leaves to prevent bad breath.

  •  Helpful in Quitting Smoking:

Chain smokers can try chewing basil leaves to get rid of their addiction. These can be more beneficial than nicotine patches, flavored gum or even plain candy to curb the urge. While the juice has a cooling effect on your throat, the chewing will distract you and the antioxidants will repair the damage caused due to years of smoking.

  •  Treatment of Kidney stones:

The juice of basil leaves taken with honey regularly for 6 months will expel kidney stones from the urinary tract.

  • Relief from Headache:

Basil leaves are considered a great medicine for headache. A facial steam of dried basil leaf is effective in alleviating headache. For this purpose, add a tablespoon of dried basil leaves to 2 cups of water in a large pot. Covering your head with towel, carefully lean over the pot and breathe in the steam for 5 to 10 minutes. You can also apply pounded basil leaves mixed in sandalwood paste on your forehead to get relief from heat and headache as well as cooling effect in general.

  • Treatment of Respiratory Disorders:

A decoction of basil leaves with honey and ginger is a natural remedy for respiratory disorders like bronchitis, asthma, cough and cold. A decoction made by boiling basil leaves and cloves in half a liter of water mixed with salt gives immediate relief in case of influenza.

  •  Good for Heart:

Basil leaves purify the blood by removing toxins. Basil leaf tea helps in controlling blood pressure. Basil leaves contain an antioxidant eugenol that helps in reducing cholesterol levels and blood glucose levels, thereby reducing the risk of heart attacks and other cardiac diseases.

 

One of my gardening buddies gave me(thanks Patrick) this recipe passed on this fabulous recipe to me and I am sharing with you! Please let me know how you liked it.

Basil Tea Recipe     th (2)

This version gets infused with fresh basil, but you could also use mint, or lesser amounts of rosemary, sage, or thyme. The basil syrup will keep for up to a month in the fridge, so you may want to double the recipe and use the extra to sweeten iced tea or spring cocktails.
  • 4 cups fresh basil leaves, packed, plus 6 basil sprigs for garnish
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice (about 6 lemons)

1. Bring basil leaves, sugar, and 2 cups water to a boil in medium saucepan, stirring to dissolve sugar and bruise basil leaves. Simmer 5 minutes without stirring. Strain, pressing on basil to remove liquid. Cool.

2. Pour 2 cups basil syrup into large pitcher. Stir in lemon juice and 4 cups water. Transfer to refrigerator, and chill well. Serve over ice, garnished with basil sprigs.

 

We are Campaigning on A Mission of Prevention

 

AA product pics 140

I have been working tirelessly for over a month to bring this campaign to you.  I feel there is a need to get a stronger presence out to you and others about the dangers of toxic ingredients in your skin care products.  It isnt just enough to eat healthy for the inner you but you need to be just as aware on what goes on your outer you.

Please join me in the fight to get more information and bring more awareness to staying healthy on the outside to keep the risk of dangerous health issues to a minimum.  We have to stop waiting until we have an illness and take more preventative measures.  This starts with reading labels, researching ingredients and taking back your control of what you put on your body.  Stop leaving those big name companies that use inferior and synthetic ingredients in their products and where some slap a natural oil or butter name on the front to make you more at ease with using their products.  When in reality it is only a small amount wading through the toxic ingredients that bring about issues of skin allergies to more severe illnesses like skin cancer.

Dont be fooled by these companies, dont keep allowing them to dictate what you should put on your skin.  Please click the link below and see just what I am talking about:

After Affects Co is Campaigning for You

Click the link above to go to campaign site

Are Natural Products Good For Me and Do They Really Work?

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It is truly amazing how After Affects has taken me to places where I have met some truly fascinating people and had some interesting conversations on the subject of natural skin care. Through the many vendor and farmer’s market events I found that the most common thing that I was asked by many customers of all races is “Are these products for my skin?”  I first thought people were pulling my leg, trying to be funny but as I further talked to many I found their thoughts were convoluted with alot of what they had been programmed to think by many of these big named companies.  Companies that had been around for many generations, teaching them that there was a divide in skin care products.  A separate but equal product so to speak.

This in turn, I think, had people of lighter tones including Caucasians believing because they didn’t see the dry skin that they needed a product that wasn’t full of alot of moisturizer ingredients. Now I know to many

IMG_0360they would probably just look at those two commercials and just think, “Oh well the company is trying to show that they are appealing to all races. Which is good marketing sense.  Ask yourself this, if you see a commercial with an actor/actress of same race as you using that product what pop’s into your mind, “Oh this product if for me”.  As if to say there are products specifically for of that particular race.  But in truth, WE ALL have dry skin and in truth there are some lighter toned people who need more moisturizer products than some darker toned people.

Take a look at the ingredients on the back of the bottles of lotion below. The top pic is an “Original” lotion then look at the one for “Extra Dry Skin and Ultra Healing”. You will notice the “Original” doesn’t have Petroleum or Mineral Oil as one of the main ingredients in its list of ingredients a its counterpart does.  Even those with Shea Butter, they may use that without adding the pore clogging Petroleum ingredient but it is still drowning in a sea of toxic ingredients.  What many fail to see is the only difference is our skin tones, our body’s skin craves the same moisture need as the next person.  And with the mineral oil/petroleum we get Original lotionsucked in to believe it must be for those with really dry skin, and seeing that stuff sitting on your skin gives you a sense that it is giving you extra moisture…not true.  I found that even there is Age-Defying lotion that uses Mineral Oil in it too I guess give more moisture too.  This having the opposite effect that you want, it is drying and clogging pores and actually speeding up the aging process. And I believe these manufactures bank on your ignorance of this to continue pumping ads to you with misinformation about extra dryyour skin care needs.

These companies bank on you using this logic with regards to products that are lab induced, only because some chemicals have different effects on different people of different races.  But seeing as many times when we purchase a product from these companies that we are driven by that commercial and what the actor sold us on and we don’t stop to think what else is in that bottl04ffa710e/jar etc. of lotion, shower gel, facial cream,shampoo,conditioner, or body scrub. We don’t read the ingredients on the back to see what other “wonderful” benefits this product will offer us.  We don’t question what Propylene Glycol is,or Sodium Lauryl Sulphate, Quaternium-15 and oh lest not we wonder what exactly is a Paraben and what do these do for my skin and my health.

With the age of technology that we are in and we can get information just by pressing a few buttons on our phone, why not Google these ingredients to see exactly what these ingredients for which you can hardly pronounce let alone know what they could possibly be doing to your internal organs.

It seems there are more questions for those who create true natural products then those who don’t.  And that is ok, that means you are thinking and want answers to your questions regarding, “Is this product for me, is it safe, will it cause me to break out”.  I welcome all those questions and hope that the information I provide will cause you to think further and eager for answers from the larger companies that use synthetic toxic ingredients that can lead to many health issues.  Yes there are some people who are allergic to certain natural ingredients due to nut or floral allergies, there are some essential oils that people with certain health conditions shouldn’t use due to side effects.  But for the most part natural should be used by natural don’t you think?

Let me say this, true natural products are just that from nature.  Think about it, we are ALL from Nature; Black, White, Hispanic,Asian, Indian(India), etc.  We all have skin (just in different shades), we all have pores, we all get itchy dry skin from IMG_0358loss of moisture.  So if we are all from nature would it not be prudent to think that true natural products made with true natural ingredients would stand to be a perfect fit for our natural skin?

We must remember this, no matter what our skin tone our skin cells have 3 things in common, the need for moisture, the need for protection and the need for cell regeneration.

different races

 Let’s Make Natural Use More Than An Option But A Way Of Life

Skin Care Products for Dry Skin Can Lead To Cancer

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I have been talking with people asking about their health routines and really it wasnt a shock to me that many people only talked about their eating habits and what they did to correct it or make it better.  But not once had anyone mentioned their skincare habits.  I know on the http://www.facebook.com/theafteraffects page I have been posting alot of healthy eating suggestions from trying different recipes to blending and juicing.  But I think in many ways I have neglected to really stress that both these two entities go hand in hand to produce successful outcomes.  I dont think many truly make the connection that our outer body is also a vessel to carry toxic materials to our inner body through our skin cells.

So many of us get complacent, myself included, listening to the companies we grew up who sold skin care products our grannys and mom’s used on our skin and swore by them.  Even today some companies who’s platform is natural, if you do further, digging into the ingredients you will find about 1/4 of them are natural and the rest are lab created.  Even companies who add the word Shea on their bottle think that slapping a Natural ingredient on their product constitutes natural or having natural tendencies when in truth with all the toxic ingredients the Shea has to fight through to even provide your body with an ounce of skincare nutrition your skin still wouldn’t be safe.

skincare-ingredients-cI remember using this particular brand on my youngest child and finding that it wasnt keeping his skin moisturized.  I would apply the lotion after a bath and 10 minutes later you would look at his legs and think I hadn’t put any type of moisturizer on him.  After really looking at the ingredients and researching each one I found that it had drying alcohol (avoid these alcohols: ethanol, ethyl alcohol, denatured alcohol, methanol, benzyl alcohol, methyl alcohol, isopropyl alcohol, and SD alcohol)  also petroleum. The few natural ingredients that it did have were at the bottom of the list (usually meaning the further down the list there is very little of that ingredient in the product) . This is what prompted me to be more aggressive in using products that actually said what they offered.  And in turn pushing me to start creating my own products.

I know I know that is alot to ask for when people are leading busy lives, so let me help with some of that by supplying you with some of the ingredients you should shy away from and those you should feel comfortable putting on you and your family’s skin.  Such ingredients as Sulfates, Petroleum, Mineral Oil,Isopropyl Alcohol, and Parabens. The list of toxic ingredients is over 82,000 where companies use such ingredients as carcinogens, hormone disruptors and reproductive toxins.  Here is an extensive list  https://www.nontoxicalternatives.com/harmful-ingredients-list.html

Here are some beneficial alcohols that promote moisture:

Cetyl Alcohol
Extracted from coconut oil, it is an emollient that is included in skin care products to stabilize the formulations. It is a prime ingredient in moisturizers because it helps the moisturizer lock the in moisture to create a protective barrier for skin.
Stearyl Alcohol
Also derived from coconut oil. Because it is an emollient as well as an emulsifier, it can be substituted for cetyl alcohol to firm skin care formulations. It is mostly found in creams, lubricants, depilatories and conditioners.th (1)

Cetearyl Alcohol

Derived from natural oils and fats, it imparts an emollient feel to the skin. Cetearyl alcohol is widely used in cleansers, permanent hair color, face creams, eye make-up and sunblocks.

 

Finding the right moisturizer is a key component to having balance skincare.  But let’s not forget that we need to start with our cleansing agent. Before you step out the shower you should be using products that promote moisture and skin cell protection.  This in turn cuts down on many minor skin afflictions like dryness,blotchiness and itchiness.  Body and facial cleansers can have ingredients that can also be rather deceiving and when you dont take the time to know what ingredients are good and which are bad the long term result can be irreversible.  You should not have products that strip your natural oils away then to have to use products with synthetic ingredients to try to build them back up.

 

Adults absorb up 60% of what we put on our skin and children’s bodies absorb 40-50% more. They are more prone to contracting diseases later in life when exposed to toxins. In essence being exposed to these toxins as children in the long run can have long term harmful health problems from learning disabilities, skin allergies, reproductive problems to contracting different forms of Cancer.

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And we wonder why we end up at the doctor’s or the dermatologist more times then we would like.  Why doctors tend to prescribe more pills and antihistamines anti inflammatory pills and steroid cremes  that only mask the affliction and keep you coming back for more hoping eventually it will fix the problem.  We need to make doctors more accountable, better yet don’t just take what doctors are “selling”, many times there is a natural alternative to issues we are having with our skin.  Think about it, we are from nature, we are natural, so wouldn’t seem the logical thing to look towards natural solutions in nature instead of a lab with synthetic choices that most times leave you with side effects worst than the affliction you are dealing with.

unscented-Shower-Gel---Body-Wash-base__99800.1354313322.1280.1280Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS)-an additive that allows cleansing products to foam.

The sodium lauryl sulfate found in our soaps is exactly the same as you would find in a car wash or even a garage, where it is used to degrease car engines.In the same way as it dissolves the grease on car engines, sodium lauryl sulfate also dissolves the oils on your skin, which can cause a drying effect. SLS may also be listed as sodium dodecyl sulfate, sulfuric acid, monododecyl ester, sodium salt, sodium salt sulfuric acid, sodium dodecyl sulfate, aquarex me or aquarex methyl according to the EWG. Why may you ask is this cleansing ingredient used in both our skincare products like soaps, body washes and shampoos, simple- it’s cheap.

In the age of information it makes it much easier to learn about what seemed to be a well kept secret by these big box skin care companies.  Our skin cells are the gateway to our internal organs receiving good and bad products.  It is up to us to make an effort to seeing that more good than bad is received.  I am sure some of you are thinking,”It hasn’t affected my skin so why do I need to start looking at natural alternatives”. You may not be seeing the affects on your skin right now but what is it doing to your insides?    This is not about pushing a new product to people, this is about pushing an idea of not making the use of natural products an option but a way of life.  Because in the long run isn’t you and your family’s quality of life worth the fight?

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Gardening to a Healthier you!

Taking a bit of a break from the After Affects rise and grind I decided to detour on a little adventure with my youngest and start a veggie garden.  Being a big proponent of using natural skincare products I wanted to mirror that with some natural and healthy produce.  We all know about GMO’s (genetically modified organisms) and toxic pesticides that much of our produce from the grocery stores offers.  I first went into this journey wanting my little finicky eater to learn about where food comes from, how it is grown and that trying new foods isn’t a scary thing.  My little guy stopped eating “real foods” about his 10th month (he’s 5 now) and it has been a chore to say the least- ok it has been hell on wheels- ever sense getting him to get back to eating fruits and veggies even some pasta!  But once I got the tools to start our little garden I began loving the thought of just growing my own food and knowing exactly how it was being grown.  What water I was using, what soil I was using and even what pesticides(all natural) I wanted to used to keep those pesky varmints from bothering our crops.  Since we live in an apartment I didn’t really have the means of growing in the ground and with the way Spring(more like Sprinter) had shaped up I decided we would get some starter plants, but the real fun was starting some crops from seedlings.  IMG_2373[1] IMG_2382[1]

Since we were growing an “urban garden” I needed to find out what we needed to make this happen after the nursery phase.  I researched with tenacity just as I did before I started After Affects.  I learned about companion crops, what was a better solution to using commercial fertilizer, how to harvest, when to harvest, what to look for, what herbs to use to deter insects.  i know I am not done learning and we will be ready for next summer to have a larger crop that will I hope keep us in produce year round.

My little shadow was really enjoying this project.  He was adamant about planting carrots and corn so we did just that.  Further along I decided to get a mini nursery and plant the rest of our crops and just nurse them as I would a new born baby.IMG_2602[1] IMG_2587[1]Although Mother Nature was truly having fun with us and by the time our sprouts were big enough to transfer to some of the larger planters it went back to being colder than they could stand and we lost some of those precious “toddlers”.  So we saved what we could and replanted some we lost.  By middle of May we had nice healthy crop before us!

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We truly were having a great time growing our food and the fact that you need to care for your inside the way you do your outside is what makes a whole healthy body.  My oldest was even coming out to check on what we were growing (cool like) and asking questions.IMG_2842[1]

Giving The Shadow more responsibility with the garden he took to watering because he loves playing it in too (no surprise). But one day we were in the garden and my little guy was picking the florets on the broccoli crop.  I didnt act like I had seen him nor was I going to make a big deal but he began eating them and liking them.  Who knew my little non eater was eating raw broccoli! I can only hope this will be the beginning and he will try other produce he has grown especially the two he wanted to plant (corn and carrots).

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Once I harvested the broccoli and tasted it I found it IMG_3069[1]tasted 10X better than that from the grocery store.  No they didnt look as large as the big headed stalks you get at the store yet they packed more flavor without cooking without seasoning and just solidified what I had been saying about food without preservatives is always going to be better for your body.YUMMY!! If you grow nothing else everyone should grow broccoli at least once in their lifetime.  I swear you will not buy store bought broccoli ever again.

Needless to say we are still nurturing our crops and waiting to harvest more produce but in the meantime what I have tasted so far there is such a massive difference in eating garden produce, tastes so much cleaner so much tastier and I dont know just fulfilling being able to grow what we eat. IMG_3176[1] IMG_2798[1] IMG_3178[1]

 

As I said, taking care of what you put on your skin and in your body go hand in hand, one without the other is counter productive with being healthy and giving yourself a fighting chance against such diseases as Cancer.