Tag Archives | hormone balance

Homemade Coconut Oil Toothpaste

Today, I’m stepping out of the kitchen and inviting you into my bathroom.

I’m still going to share a recipe with you. It’s one you’ll use every morning, but you won’t eat it.

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Stay with me here….

Transitioning to eating a whole foods, nutrient-dense diet has been a long journey for me. One, that is my no means over. It never will be.

I am always learning, just like you.

I’ve been on this clean-eating path for about 5 years now, and it’s definitely been a journey with LOTS trial and error.

But, now that I have the clean food thing down MOST of the time (“most” being the operative word here), I’m taking it to the next level by cleaning up the products that I’m using in the shower and at the bathroom sink.

For the last 6 months I’ve been making my own toothpaste. Yep, toothpaste.

It’s so ridiculously easy I can’t believe I haven’t started doing it sooner!

No matter where you on your health journey, this is something that is as easy to incorporate as eating raw nuts or drinking more water.

I know what you’re thinking….

“What’s so bad about toothpaste that I should make it myself?”

First, do you remember the big microbead debacle in late 2014? We were being told there was plastic in toothpaste that was embedding itself in our teeth and gums. Ewww!

First, have you ever read the ingredients in your toothpaste? When I did I realized that I didn’t really know what any of the ingredients really were.

Sodium laurel sulfate, titanium dioxide, sodium hexametaphosphate, triclosan are some that I’ve seen. What are these things? And, should we really put them in our mouths?

Here are three ingredients to know about in your toothpaste. There are many more and I encourage you to do some of your own reading. These are common ingredients that I think are important to know and understand.

1) Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS): SLS has been linked to fueling canker sores. The Environmental Working Group SLS has been linked to irritation of the skin and eyes, neurotoxicity, hormone disruption and others. The only purpose for SLS is experience….it provides the foaming we like to correlate to cleanliness. The scraping from your toothbrush and flossing cleans better than the foam from SLS.

2) Triclosan: Tricolsan was first used about 15 years ago because it is known to fight bacteria for up to 12 hours. The Mayo Clinic states that triclosan has been shown to disrupt hormone balance, may contribute to antibiotic resistant bacteria and be harmful to the immune system. Not only is this a concern every time we put this ingredient in our mouth, but it going down the drain and having a negative effect on beneficial algae.

3) Flavoring: Just like we want out toothpaste to foam, we also want it to taste minty fresh. The problem is that many toothpastes contain artificial sweeteners like aspartame, a known neurotoxin. If you decide to not make your own toothpaste but rather buy a more natural version at the store, look for a toothpaste that uses stevia or xylitol as a sweetener.

Ok, so now you’re ready to make your own toothpaste, right? If you have 5 minutes (which I know you do) homemade toothpaste can be yours!

Toothpaste Collage
Here’s what to do:

Homemade Coconut Oil Toothpaste

Ingredients
6 tablespoons coconut oil
6 tablespoons baking soda
2 teaspoons vegetable glycerin
10-15 drops peppermint essential oil

Instructions
1) In a small bowl combine all ingredients with a fork. Add more essential oils to make it as minty as you want.
2) Scoop into a glass jar and store in the bathroom. Simply dip your toothbrush into the toothpaste and brush away!
3) Smile! You have clean, chemical-free teeth!

Recipe adapted from CrunchyBetty.com

Where do you get the ingredients?

Vegetable glycerin, or glycerol, is a clear, odorless liquid produced from plant oils, typically palm oil, soy, or coconut oil. It is used in cosmetics and body care products to assist in retaining moisture and is helpful in pulling oxygen into the skin. You can find vegetable glycerin at most natural food stores or online.

For essential oils I recommend pure, food safe oils. There are many companies out there and I recommend you do your own research to find the company you most comfortable with. Check your local natural food store as they may carry a local essential oil producer. This article goes into more depth about essential oils and how to choose them. Here is another one that is also very helpful.

What are the benefits?

Coconut oil has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. Kills any icky germs that are floating around in there. The baking soda creates a mild abrasive that gets cleans all the nooks and crannies. The vegetable glycerin adds a natural sweetness and the peppermint oil of course gives you that sparkly clean taste.

That’s it!

Now get out of my bathroom! I have to….ummm….brush my teeth 🙂

Comments { 12 } · Posted on February 24, 2015 in General

What’s in your salt?

Once considered a precious commodity, salt has been labeled a “bad food” for many years prompting food manufacturers to create a slew of “low sodium” and “sodium free products.” But is salt really that bad for us?

Salt, an edible crystal, has been treated historically as a precious luxury. The word salary comes from the root sal because Romans were paid in salt and African and European explorers traded salt for gold. Salt was literally worth its weight in gold.

Salt is essential for life and health.

Salt gives the oceans their character and our tears their salty flavor. According to trace-mineral expert Henry Schroeder, “life began in salinity, and cannot free itself therefrom.” Unrefined salt is essential for many of our bodily processed, including:

  • Salt is a major component of our blood, lymphatic fluid and even amniotic fluid
  • Salt is responsible for carrying nutrients in and out of our cells
  • The components of salt assist in the firing of neurons in our nervous system
  • Salt plays a key role in digestion. It is our major source of chloride, an important component of hydrochloric acid, which is needed for proper protein digestion.
  • Adequate salt intake helps our adrenal glands produce the hormones needed to keep our metabolism running smoothly.

What is salt?

Salt is often thought to be synonymous with sodium. However, there is more to salt than just this one ingredient. Salt is mostly made up mostly of sodium and chloride. Most commercial table salt is land-mined, whereas sea salt is obtained through the evaporation of seawater.

Remember, our bodies need whole foods that contain a variety of nutrients instead of foods that have been processed down into containing singular nutrients. Missing nutrients lead to imbalance leaving us prone to illness. Sea salt contains 78% sodium chloride and the remainder being made up of magnesium, calcium, potassium and other minerals and micro-minerals. USDA standards for table salt are set to be no less than 97.5% sodium chloride, the remainder being some magnesium and calcium and “approved additives.”

What about iodine?

Standard iodized salt includes potassium iodide to supplement iodine for those who may be deficient. However, when including iodine, dextrose (a type of sugar) is added to prevent the iodine from oxidizing. In turn, sodium bicarbonate is also added to keep the iodine from turning purple as well as various anti-caking agents to keep the salt from sticking.

Instead, iodine can be easily included in the diet through fish, seafood, sea vegetables like kombu and eggs.

When salt is a problem

More than 75% of the salt consumed in the U.S. comes from processed foods, mostly in the form of just sodium. Canned soups, frozen and pre-packaged meals, chips and pretzels, cereals, cheeses, condiments, dips and sauces, deli meats, breads and baked goods all contain large amounts of salt.

The problem is not the salt we add to our boiling water or pasta sauces, but the large amount of salt we consume through packaged foods and restaurant meals.

What kind of salt should I buy?

Redmond-RealSalt-Natures-First-Sea-Salt-Fine-Salt-018788102502In short, just about any sea salt is better than an iodized white salt. Nearly every well-stock grocery store now sells sea salt in its natural foods section and it can also be purchased at health food stores and online.

Look for sea salt that has some color – pink or grey are most common. Salt evaporated directly from the sea is not pure white by nature. White sea salt has most likely been processed in some way to rid it of any color.

I like Redmond Real Salt and The Original Himalayan Crystal Salt.

Comments { 0 } · Posted on January 4, 2015 in General, In the Kitchen