Category Archives: Cleansing

NATURAL CLEANSING – Homemade Facial Cleanser & Scrub

Oil facial cleaner brown sugar scrub

Have any of you heard of the Oil Cleansing Method?  I was first introduced to it by one of my beauty contributors on Chic Vegan.  I thought about giving it a try at the time, but had a fair amount of the product I used remaining, so I filed the idea away to consider later.

I have been using Arcona products for 4-5 years now and have had really good results with them, but lately my skin (especially on my nose) seems to be dry and flaky, plus the products I use are a bit expensive and I am looking to cut costs.  I have been thinking about shaking-up my beauty routine lately and am always on a quest to use more “natural” beauty solutions.

Today as I woke-up I lay there looking through popular pins on Pinterest and saw a pin for making your own natural cleansing scrub.  I clicked on the link and saw that the post mentioned the Oil Cleansing Method.  

Inspired by THIS post by Krystle Owens I went to the store after church and picked-up some castor oil, sunflower oil, Vitamin E, and brown sugar.

I made a bottle of oil-based cleanser following the recipe in THIS post.  The recipe I used for the Natural Cleansing Scrub is VERY close to Krystle’s recipe with a few tweaks here and there….I  used Sunflower oil vs. Olive oil (as recommended by the Oil Cleansing Method website) and added Vitamin E to the recipe.

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OIL-BASED CLEANSER

Sunflower oil
Castor oil

Fill a glass bottle (oil is always best kept in glass since plastic can leech into oil) with 25% castor oil and 75% sunflower oil making sure to leave at least 1″ at the top of the bottle unfilled (this is so there is room for you to shake the oils together).

Follow the directions in THIS post with regards to how to cleanse.

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NATURAL CLEANSING SCRUB – Enough for about 7 daily uses.  Keeps well for up to 3 weeks.

1/3 cup brown sugar
1 Tbs sunflower oil
2 tsp castor oil
1 tsp vitamin E 
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp witch hazel
1/2 Tbs honey
a few drops essential oils – if desired for fragrance
 
Directions: 
In a small glass container with a lid (I used ones from my “hoarding glass jars” cabinet), mix the brown sugar with each ingredient separate until blended well. The finished product will look sort of like a gooey or sticky applesauce.
 
With a damp face and fingertips, scoop out a bit, massage it in circular motions over your whole face and decolletage for about a minute. Leave it on for a couple more minutes if in the shower. If not, then you can wrap your face with a hot washcloth allowing the steam to open your pores.
 
After steaming a few minutes massage the scrub in again, rinse and pat dry.
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To learn about the benefits of each ingredient, head on over to Krystle’s blog HERE.

Have any of you ever tried the Oil Cleansing Method or made any of your own facial cleansers?  I’d love to hear about your experience.

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NEW YEAR – TIME FOR A CLEANSE

Happy New Year to all of you!

I really enjoy the beginning of a new year and how it naturally encourages me reflect upon the previous year while at the same time considering of how I hope the new year will unfold.

I have made it a habit to begin the year with a cleanse.  I posted about my cleanse last year and am in the midst of a cleanse which follows the same principals as that one…fruits and vegetables.  Plain and simple.

My family and I were driving home on January 1st from visiting my sister and her family (a long car ride to be sure, but we made record time), so I didn’t begin preparations for the cleanse until January 2nd.  Luckily I had enough fruit on hand that day to begin the cleanse before I had a chance to grocery shop.

January 2nd was spent grocery shopping, steaming corn, water-sauteing shredded cabbage with onions, baking quartered mushrooms, roasting squash on my Silpats instead of using oil, and chopping fruits and vegetables.

I just completed day 3 of the cleanse and plan on continuing through next Friday at the earliest (which would make 10 days), but may do the cleanse for 14 days…we will see how I feel after 10 days.

I truly love how eating this way makes me feel.  Sure, there can be cravings to deal with, but when I crave something sweet I have a banana or some dates.

The net effect is so worth it.

If you are interested in learning more about the cleanse I follow, click the links below:

Remember…keep it simple and uncomplicated.  Eat food in its natural state and DON’T GO HUNGRY!!!

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My 80/10/10 Trial Update

I thought I would have a harder time following the 80/10/10 Diet for the week, however it really wasn’t difficult for me at all.  That being said, I did not follow Dr. Graham’s diet 100% since I did allow myself to eat fat-free cocoa powder, cinnamon, corn, yams and sweet potatoes.

My big take-away from the diet trial was that my body really thrived without grains.  Prior to this 80/10/10 Diet trial I had been experiencing some intestinal bloating and discomfort for a while and I have to say that I had NONE during the 80/10/10 trial.  I have to conclude that my body does not like grains.

I recently became quite attached to my stevia packets and decaf coffee and was looking forward to the trial to see if I could curtail those cravings.  I am happy to report that the diet trial accomplished just that.  While I have had coffee since then, It is now down to about once a week as a treat and my stevia consumption is way down as well.  While I do not think there is anything wrong with stevia per se, I don’t think it is good to have too much of a good thing either.

An observation I made during the trial was that my athletic performance did increase.  While I tend to be pretty strong and adept at pilates plus, there are a few moves that have proven to be difficult for me and at the end of the 80/10/10 week I was able to do some of those moves…I was shocked!  I also went on a run (something I haven’t done for months) on day 7 of the diet trial, and it was easy…so easy that I went twice as far as I originally planned on going.

As for the numbers, at the end of the week I was down 2.5 pounds (something I wasn’t trying to achieve) and also down 1% body fat.

All in all I felt great while eating my modified version of the 80/10/10 Diet.  I plan on continuing to live grain-free, but will continue to consume corn (some people consider that a grain), yams, sweet potatoes, white potatoes, and legumes.

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CLEANSE FOOD LOG – Days 6 and 7

There really isn’t much to report food-wise this weekend other than the gorging I did at lunch yesterday which led to feeling crazy full for the next 5 1/2 hours.  I know that the rest of my food log today will pretty much be a repeat of what the rest of the week has looked like, so I am going to take the rest of the day off of blogging and spend it with my kiddos.

I plan on stopping the full-force cleanse after tonight.  I am really glad that I did the cleanse this past week.  I feel clear and clean and have no regrets.  Eating so much produce really does have its benefits.  After the cleanse I will continue eating mostly fruits and veggies for breakfast and lunch and for dinner I will add in some beans and grains.

Have a wonderful Sunday!

SATURDAY

  • 8:15 am – Big bowl of veggie soup.
  • 10:45 am – Chocolate smoothie (sweet potato, zucchini, 2 frozen bananas, cocoa powder, some stevia).  I drank about half and put the rest in the fridge for later.
  • 1:00 pm – Finished the other half of the smoothy.
  • 1:15-2:15 pm – Did an hour of hard cardio on the recumbent bike.
  • 2:30 pm – Had some Shirataki Noodle stir fry embellished with roasted cauliflower, green beans, and baby carrots.  This ended-up being a really big meal.  I am stuffed (ate too much…yuck!).
  • 8:00 pm – Bowl of veggie soup, some toasted nori, and apple slices.  I was so full after lunch that I couldn’t even think about eating until now.
Click HERE to read Jeff’s day 6 food log.

SUNDAY

  • 11:30 am – Bowl of kiwi, banana, pomegranate, apple, and pear.
  • Lunch will probably be a big salad
  • Dinner will be Chinese hot pot at my in-laws.  I will be eating chrysanthemum leaves, a variety of mushrooms, pea shoots, bamboo hearts, and taro root.
  • After dinner I am sure I will nosh on some fruit.

Click HERE to read Jeff’s day 7 food log.

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CLEANSE FOOD LOG – Day 5

My biggest challenge today was not going out to dinner.  Usually by Friday I am toast and despite the fact that I love to cook, I don’t feel like cooking.  I wanted to go to one of my favorite Peruvian restaurants (They make an awesome veggie plate) and my husband felt like it would be too tempting for him.  I am more than happy to support him in this since I am so proud of how well he is doing.  He had a business restaurant at a steakhouse today and ended-up eating tomato soup and an artichoke (Yay!  He made such great choices.).

FRIDAY

  • 7:15 am – Small bowl of watermelon and pineapple
  • 8:30 am – Had the usual bowl of cut-up Fuji apple, pear, banana, pomegranate, and cinnamon, BUT also added a very ripe persimmon into the mix and it was fantastic.
  • 9:30 -10:30 am – Pilates reformer class.  The instructor kicked our butts!  I can’t tell if that class was super duper extra hard or if I was a little lower on energy.

  • 11:00 am – Checked-out the new farmer’s market in town and sampled some strawberries.  I was really excited to see so many people there.  The parking lot was a battleground (Reminded me of the mall during the holidays!).
  • 12:00 pm – Finished the chocolate banana pudding I made last night.  I was surprised to see how well it held-up in the fridge overnight.
  • 12:30 pm – Salad made with slivered cucumber, slivered red bell pepper, organic pea shoots, seaweed salad, and lite rice wine vinegar.  I also had a few pickles on the side (Odd combo…but tasted good at the time).
  • 2:00 pm –  Handful of grapes from the farmer’s market.
  • 3:15 pm – Another handful of grapes.
  • 3:45 pm – Some roasted nori and Brothers-All-Natural freeze dried Asian Pears
  • 5:30 pm – Just came home and I am STARVING.  Eating grapes while baking some potatoes.
  • 6:20 pm – 1 1/2 baked potatoes (on the smaller side), bruschetta, roasted cauliflower, and a bowl of veggie soup.
  • 9:00 pm – I plan on having a bowl of pomegranate seeds

Have a great weekend!  TGIF.

To read Jeff’s food log for day 5 click HERE.

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CLEANSE FOOD LOG – Day 4

We are going through an incredible amount of produce right now (makes me happy!), so I need to head-off to the store at some point today to buy more bananas.  On Monday or Tuesday (can’t remember) I bought 3 huge bunches of bananas and we only have 2 individual bananas left!

It is hard to believe that we are already on day 4 of the cleanse.  I am noticing that my skin looks smoother and more moisturized.  I am also taking on more of the natural “tan” look that comes with eating this way (Thank you carrots and peppers!).  I always know that I am getting in enough beta carotene when someone asks me if I just got back from vacation.

If you are following along on the cleanse how have you been feeling???  I’d love to hear from you.

THURSDAY

  • 6:30 am – Tall glass of water
  • 7:30 am – Fruit salad just like I had yesterday morning (banana, pear, apple, pomegranate seeds, cinnamon)
  • 8:00 am – Per my husband’s request I just cooked up an even bigger batch of Shirataki Noodle Stir-Fry…that stuff is seriously good!  Didn’t eat any yet since I wasn’t hungry.
  • 9:00 am – Another banana
  • 10:45 am – Elliptical for 50 minutes
  • 12:00 pm – HUGE salad (pictured above) with romaine, iceberg, seaweed salad, roasted cauliflower, roasted broccoli, grape tomatoes, sliced mushrooms, and lite rice wine vinegar.  The salad was huge as I mentioned, so I was full after eating a little over half of it.
  • 1:45 pm – Finished the rest of the salad and snacked on a little watermelon.
  • 3:00 pm – Made a smoothie of frozen strawberries, fresh pineapple, fresh bananas, apple, and some water for my husband, son, daughter and her friend…took a few sips equaling probably about 1/2 cup.
  • 3:20 pm – Snacked on some more watermelon.
  • 4:15 pm – 5:15 pm – Sipped on 24 ounces cold water with a scoop of NanoGreens
  • 6:00 pm – Dinner was a small baked potato (hubby was begging for one) topped with fresh bruschetta, roasted cauliflower on the side, and a small bowl of Shirataki Noodle Stir-Fry
  • 7:00 pm – Chocolate banana pudding made in the Vitamix.  Made with a sweet potato, fresh banana, 3/4 cup water, 1/4 cup cocoa powder, and 3 frozen bananas.  I AM SO FULL RIGHT NOW!!!  I am quite sure this will be it for me for the night…can’t imagine eating any more!

Today I struggled a bit with cravings from 3pm until dinner.  When you do a cleanse like this you don’t experience the same kind of FULL that you experience when you eat a plant-based diet that is supplemented with grains, beans, and nuts.  But knowing that makes getting through it easier.

Enjoy the rest of your evening!

To read Jeff’s food log for Day 4 click HERE.

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CLEANSE FOOD LOG – Day 3

Last night after posting my food log I hit my first wall.  It was a mini wall, but a wall nonetheless.  About an hour after eating my bowl of berries I started craving THESE crunchy lightly salted crackers…I love those things.  But, after repeating the mantra, “This too shall pass” a few times in my head, it did pass and I didn’t give into the craving.

So, let’s get to my food log for day 3.

WEDNESDAY

  • 7:oo am – Large glass of water
  • 8:30 am – Bowl of sliced Fuji apple, sliced pear, a sliced banana, and pomegranate seeds.  I then dusted the bowl of fruit with Saigon cinnamon (pictured above).
  • 9:30 am – 10:30am – Pilates reformer class
  • 10:30 am – a quart bag filled to the brim with baby carrots, sliced red and orange bell peppers, and celery
  • 12:45 pm – Big Disneyland-sized spear of pineapple
  • 1:00 pm – A serving of the stir-fry I made yesterday (click HERE for details)
  • 2:15 pm – Already hungry again, so making a chocolate mint smoothie (water, 1/2 sweet potato, 1/2 of a zucchini, handful of spinach, handful of fresh mint, cocoa powder, vanilla creme stevia, small frozen banana, ice…about half the size of the smoothie I made yesterday).
  • 4:45 pm – Snacked on some nori and had 24 ounces of cold water with one scoop of NanoGreens.
  • 6:15 pm – A bowl of veggie soup (click HERE for details) and two small ears of roasted corn sprinkled with Chile con Limon.
  • 8:30 pm – Planning on having a bowl of raspberries, blueberries, and sliced banana.  If I get hungry afterward I plan on having some herbal tea.

I am off to get my kiddos ready for bed.  I am feeling really good and have not been experiencing any big cravings today.

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CLEANSE FOOD LOG

Today was day one of the fruit and veggie cleanse my husband and I are doing together (click HERE for details).  Here is my journal entry for the day…

Today can be summed-up in one word…PREP!  Today I am getting everything prepped and ready for the week so all I have to do is go into the fridge and grab what I need (I also want to make this as easy as possible for my husband).

MONDAY

  • 7:00 am – 2/3 cup heirloom strawberries (I would have eaten more, but was busy getting the kids fed and ready for school)
  • 9:00 am – 1/2 cup grapes and a banana
  • 9:30-10:30 am – pilates (tough class…awesome!)
  • 11:00 am – 24 ounce carrot/apple juice (mostly carrot with a little apple)
  • 11:30 am – went shopping to stock-up for the week

  • 12:40 pm – While cooking-up a storm* I am eating a salad made with a bed of butter lettuce, 1/2 a cucumber, and a HUGE handful of seaweed salad from Costco (how awesome is it that my Costco carries this now!).  Dressed it up with some lite rice wine vinegar and extra crushed red chili.

*I have a GINORMOUS pot of veggie soup going on the stove**, I am steaming sweet potatoes (click HERE to see how I prepare them…scroll down under the ingredient list and you will see a note about how I cook them), and I have broccoli and cauliflower roasting in the oven (click HERE to see how I roast them) while at the same time prepping corn to be lightly steamed and then roasted.  Note – the veggies should be prepared without oil and then roasted).

**Made the soup with 2 cups each (carrot, celery, onion), a 24 oz. jar of tomato basil pasta sauce (fill it up again with water and add that to the soup as well),  32 ounces low-sodium veggie broth, 8 oz. bag Harvest Sensations kale, 10 oz. sliced crimini mushrooms, and dried basil (I went to the garden to get fresh and it is all gone).  I did not add any salt because I don’t plan on using any and it really doesn’t need it.

  • 1:30 pm – 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 2:oo pm – 1 cup grapes
  • 3:00 pm – snacked on some roasted cauliflower and broccoli while putting it away
  • 3:30 pm – snacked on some watermelon while prepping it for snacks
  • 4:40 pm – Asian Pear Crisps (by Brothers All Natural)
  • 6:00 pm – bowl of vegetable soup, ear of corn, roasted broccoli and cauliflower
  • 8:45 pm – bowl of blueberries, raspberries, and a sliced banana

So how do I feel?  AWESOME!  Today was one of those non-stop days and I really do feel great (even after only sleeping 5 hours last night).  I know it sounds cliché, but I feel very clean inside right now and not hungry at all…I definitely did not go hungry today.

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I ran into my friend Jeff (The Plant Eater) at the Doug Lisle event on Sunday and after mentioning the cleanse to him, he decided to do it along with us.  Click HERE to read about Jeff’s first day of the cleanse.

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CLEAN EATING RESET

I am willing to bet that nearly all of us overindulged over the past few months.  While I managed to make it through the holidays without gorging on sweets (like I did last year READ POST), I did eat food that was a bit more rich than usual and just plain ate MORE than usual.

I am convinced that one of the reasons I was able to have more self-control this year was because I completed a cleanse during the first two weeks of December before the holidays hit high gear.

A few months back my friend Sirica and I went to the Healthy Lifestyle Expo together and when she arrived she told me about a cleanse she did while her husband was out of town.  It was so pure in that she just ate fruits and vegetables.  I was drawn to the simplicity of this cleanse aka “reset and repair” as I like to refer to them.

So often I hear of cleanses that involve tons of supplements and very little food (trust me, I have done those too) and while I do think there is a time and a place for those types of cleanses (under a doctor’s care and for a specific reason), they make me really cranky and hungry.

So I took what I learned about the cleanse from Sirica and ran with it.  I set-out to do the cleanse for 7-14 days (not sure how long I wanted to do it) and ended-up completing 12 days.  Here were my parameters:

  • Consume ONLY fruits and vegetables (aim for at least 50% raw…I think I was closer to 70% raw).
  • Have the bulk of your intake be from water-based fruits and veggies, but be sure to include sweet potatoes and squash.
  • Drink water, tea, fresh vegetable juice, or fruit and veggie powder drinks (I drank NanoGreens once a day).
  • EAT AS MUCH AS YOU WANT…DO NOT GO HUNGRY!!!!!!
While I think it probably goes without saying based upon the outline above, I thought I would add some further clarification:
  • NO oil
  • NO grains
  • NO legumes
  • NO nuts
  • NO animal products
  • NO sugar
  • NO artificial sweeteners
  • NO processed foods

Like I said, I completed 12 days of this cleanse and came out of it 7 pounds lighter (all of which stayed off during the holidays) and most importantly I felt great and never once was I hungry!  I really, really, really (did I emphasize that enough), don’t like to be hungry, so this was perfect for me.

OK, this may be TMI, but prior to the cleanse I was not as “regular” with my bowel movements as I would have liked to be.  During the cleanse that all changed.  I feel like it RESET my digestive system and everything is as it should be now.

I want to allow my body to heal from the excess I experienced last month, so I will be doing this cleanse again starting tomorrow and my husband offered to do the cleanse with me too…yay!

Would it be helpful for you / would you be interested in me posting my food log next week as I go through the cleanse?  

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DETOX NATURALLY WITH WATER

Detoxification and its dangers

Detoxification has been highly publicized in recent times and with right reasons. The amount of toxicity in human body has been multiplying because of a number of factors in recent times. The human body today is exposed to a lot of toxins because of the food consumed, consumer products used, and pollution. Any given person these days carries about 300 toxic chemicals in the body on an average. Each chemical can cause dangerous diseases such as cancer and liver damage.

Water and its role in detoxification

Though there are a number of natural detoxification methods available, pure water is still reckoned among the best detoxification agents. Contrary to what many people might observe, water detoxification is an amazingly simple and inexpensive process. It is safe and at the same time, highly effective. All you need to do is to drink plenty of water every day.

Benefits of detoxification with water

  • Water facilitates the drainage of numerous toxin products from your body by diluting them.
  • Water helps you to maintain normal body temperature.
  • Water keeps your joints in good shape by providing them right lubrication.
  • Water keeps you healthy and energetic by transporting essential nutrients, chemical substances and hormones throughout your body.
  • Water clears excessive fat from your bloodstreams.
  • Water protects your spinal cord from sudden and strong impacts by cushioning it with adequate fluids.
  • Water provides your brain with essential fluids.

Risks of a dehydrated body

If you do not drink sufficient water, your body cells extract water from the bloodstream. The bloodstream therefore is unable to perform its functions and this can put immense pressure on the heart.

Dehydration prevents your kidneys from purifying the blood properly. When the kidney does not function properly, the liver and other important organs share the functions. Naturally, your body is severely stressed when almost none of its organs functions properly. You may experience mild to severe headache, constipation, acne, itchy and dry skin, common cold and sneezing when you are not adequately hydrated.

Steps to perform water detoxification

The following simple and yet inexpensive steps can help you detoxify your body remarkably:

  • Drink at least two liters of water every day. The theory that you should drink only when thirsty is not exactly going to help you detoxify your body. Your body needs a minimum amount of water every day, regardless of your physical activity profile or thirst.
  • Water fast is a widely popular detoxification method, but one that needs to be done under doctor’s supervision. Water fasting requires that you drink only water for a few days and do not consume any other food at all. The duration depends on a number of factors such as your current health condition and doctoral advice. One should not jump into water fast right away – prepare your body for a few days for the fast by taking fruit juices and light food. You must also make sure that you are drinking pure and filtered water. Your body may react strangely in the first few days, which is why it is important to do the fast under a doctor’s care.
  • Sweat baths (aka saunas) are also known to be effective methods to detoxify your body. Sweating can flush out the toxins from your body through the pores of your body. Sweat baths are ancient detoxification method and practiced in such countries as Turkey, Russia, and Japan.

Let me emphasize that in order to embark on water fast or sweat bath, you should first consult your doctor or a detoxification expert. Though these are widely popular and highly acclaimed methods, you still need to know about the exact duration of water fast and any possible precautions you may need to take.

These factors notwithstanding, drinking water still remains the most effective and safest detoxification method.

Water image courtesy of healthylifejournal.com 

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About the author: By profession, Amanda Kidd is a blogger and writer. Being a health buff she herself follows a healthy lifestyle. Recently her interest has grown in the various measures to improve skin health.


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