Hair Diaries: The One!

Just Natural SkincareI tried no poo and it was a failure, for me. I tried a raw made from plant botanicals brand in an effort to get the strong shiny hair I seek. While the raw products are excellent products, that my family continues to use and I continue to recommend and support, it wasn’t right for my hair. So I moved on and lo and behold, just like in a relationship, the next one to come along in the hair diaries natural hair care saga was The One!

The one turned out to be from Just Natural Hair and Skincare. Just Natural products are sulfate, paraben, alcohol, chemical, and gluten free. Made from non GMO, vegan, natural and organic ingredients that are not tested on animals. Just Natural uses the “purest plant oils, butters, botanical extracts and essentials from the best that nature has to offer.”  Their products are effective and natural, just what I was looking for. Plus the bottles of shampoo and conditioner I purchased 21 weeks ago and have used ever since still haven’t run out!

Having color treated hair I went with the Color Care Natural Shampoo and the Color Care Natural Conditioner. The shampoo is sulfate-free, salt-free, paraben-free and silicone-free to protect and preserve your hair color longer while gently cleansing the hair with oils, that also result in shiny non-greasy hair. The conditioner helps to give softness to the hair with seed oils and butters but also nourishes the hair so it is stronger and manageable without build-up. The claims are all true. My hair is shiny and healthy while the color in my hair sticks around. Which isn’t an easy task as I have tough color to maintain with my purple streak and the red tones for the rest of my hair. My stylist, who often has pink hair herself, was amazed at how vibrant the color in my hair stays between colorings once I started using this product. The added bonus of only washing my hair 3 times a week now is an excellent time saver too.

I tried the Natural Shine Polish too that uses lots of natural oils such as Meadowfoam, Olive, Daikon, Jojoba, and Fennel Seed oils to tame frizz, repair damage, restore moisture, and add shine. A little shine polish goes a long way. And I mean a little teeny bit. Otherwise I find my hair is weighed down and looks a little greasy. But a little bit is magic on those days between washes when I need a little extra something.

I also grabbed the Daily Moisturizing Body Wash, because why not? I love this stuff! It cleanses my skin gently without leaving it dry. Plus it has a gentle fresh and clean scent from the Orange Blossom, Tangerine and Bergamot oils.

Just Natural also has chemical free products for kids hair and kids body washes. There are products for people with every hair type imaginable – dry, extremely dry, oily, itchy, thin, color treated, relaxed, pre-relaxed, hair loss, mens hair. etc.  They also carry skin products such as butters, creams, lotions, anti-aging potions, and so much more. The product line is massive but everything I’ve tried so far has been beyond great. I look forward to ordering something new each time I place an order because I want to try it all.

Hair diaries success at last!

FATface Skincare

Butternut Squash and Pumpkin Soup

Butternut Squash and Pumpkin SoupLast year I had a pretty rough birthday. It was the only birthday so far where I had to work, I usually take the day off, but last year I worked on my birthday. That’s not why the birthday was the worst ever, but it didn’t help. I came home to a kitchen that smelled wonderfully as my husband had roasted butternut squash for soup. It was love, comfort, and deliciousness in a bowl. Just the thing I needed to salvage the day.

There is something incredibly comforting about a hot bowl of soup in your hands on a cool day or any day really. It warms you up, body and soul, from the inside out and is just plain tasty. It also helps that soups made with bone broths are incredibly healthy and healing for your gut and skin. Soups are also great when you make a big pot to reheat and enjoy again for another dinner or to take for lunch.

Roasting vegetables brings another depth of flavor to your soup too. This recipe uses roasted butternut squash, onions, and garlic added to canned pureed pumpkin and homemade (or store bought if you don’t have it) bone broth. It would be very easy to change this recipe up to to nourish the vegan/vegetarian friends or family in your life by using vegetable broth and coconut oil in the recipe instead. For a complete meal we often add beef meatballs to a bowl of this soup after dishing it up to round it out, but it’s great on it’s own too.

I used coconut cream in the soup instead of coconut milk, because it is thicker and won’t water down the soup like coconut milk would. Coconut cream can also be used to make whipped coconut cream to top pies, in smoothies, and curries. Coconut Cream can be purchased online if you cannot locate it at a store near you or you can use coconut milk and 1 to 2 tablespoons of arrowroot powder to thicken the soup.

Grab a bowl and fill it with this hot Butternut Squash and Pumpkin Soup, sit back, and enjoy the warmness and comfort of homemade soup as it washes over you.

Butternut Squash and Pumpkin Soup

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

  • 1 Butternut Squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed
  • 1 Onion, sliced
  • 4 cloves Garlic, peeled and quartered
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon White Pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground Ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground Turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon ground Sage
  • ⅓ cup melted fat such as Coconut Oil, Ghee, or Beef Tallow (use Coconut Oil for Vegetarian/Vegan Option)
  • 1 Tablespoon Ghee
  • 16 ounces Chicken Stock or Chicken Bone Broth (use Vegetable Stock for Vegetarian Option)
  • 1 can (15 ounces) Pumpkin Puree
  • 1 can (5.4 ounces) Coconut Cream
  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Place cubed and peeled Butternut Squash, Onion, and Garlic on a cookie sheet.
  3. Sprinkle Salt, White Pepper, Ginger, Turmeric, and Sage on squash mixture.
  4. Pour melted ⅓ cup fat over squash and spice mixture. Mix with hands to coat squash well with fat and spices.
  5. Roast in oven for 45 minutes or until squash is fork tender.
  6. Remove squash from oven and set aside.
  7. In a large pot melt 1 Tablespoon Ghee.
  8. Pour Chicken Stock, Pumpkin Puree, Coconut Cream, and Squash mixture into pot with Ghee.
  9. Using an immersion blender, puree soup until smooth and combined (use a blender if you do not have an immersion blender to puree then return to pot with ghee).
  10. Heat until soup reaches a low simmer, stirring frequently.
  11. Serve and enjoy.

 Need help on how to cube butternut squash? Check out this video from Martha Stewart on How to Cut Butternut Squash

I used Fatworks Pure Tallow as my fat of choice when I made this recipe and OMghee as my ghee of choice. I highly recommend both products because of their quality, sourcing, and because they are tasty healthy fats.


Hair Diaries: On To The Next One

Princess AnnaI gave no poo a good shot. I tried cleansing my hair with a combination of baking soda and vinegar rinses. For several reasons no poo doesn’t always work for everyone. It might be the water in your house, that you are doing no poo too often, or you haven’t given it enough time. But after 4 weeks of greasy nasty hair I gave up. So it’s on to the next one.

The Morrocco Method products I had reserved for later, from my first go at no poo, were pulled out of the bathroom cabinet to an upgraded space in the shower.

Morrocco Method products are raw, vegan, gluten and soy free, and made from pure plant botanicals. They offer natural shampoos, conditioners, styling products, henna to color your hair, and more. Their products can even be used for your pets because they do not contain any chemicals, plus they are never tested on animals.

What did I try? I grabbed the 5 Shampoo Sample Pack, Trial Travel Set of 6 Conditioners, and the Blood of the Dragon Styling Gel because it has a cool name. After trying out the shampoo trial pack and the conditioners, I purchased a full size bottle of Sea Essence Shampoo and Pearl Essence Cream Rinse to really give it a good trial as the sample shampoos are only good for one and a half shampoos with long hair.

I wasn’t a huge fan of the smell of the shampoos and conditioners, it’s very earthy and natural smelling. There are understandably no lovely fragrances added, keeping true to their pure plant botanicals and no chemicals line. The color of the shampoos is a muddy brown and they get the job done of cleaning my scalp. In fact my scalp never felt so clean and invigorated in my whole life. But my hair was just off. It wasn’t soft, manageable, and healthy looking after 4 weeks of use which is what I’m looking for in addition to using natural products. It isn’t the Morrocco Method products though, the products are excellent but not for my hair type (frizzy, colored, tends towards dry and breakage at times, naturally curly/wavy, and long).

The shampoo and conditioner got my 10 year old daughters straight shoulder length and hormonally greasy hair to be clean, non-greasy, soft, and vibrant. While the Blood of the Dragon Styling Gel got the 7 year old daughters long, straight, ragamuffin if you don’t do something with it hair, to hold a braid well and be shiny. I continue to use the Diamond Crystal Mist Conditioner & Moisturizer and Sapphire Volumizer Mist spray-on conditioners to dry hair on non-shampoo days to add shine and detangle. I also really like the Euro Natural Oil to deep condition my hair overnight before a shampoo morning. Especially on the ends of my hair, that can get a little rough looking despite being trimmed every 8 weeks. Purple hair don't care

Overall I was pleased with and liked the products. I came away with some great spray-on conditioners for myself and products that work wonderfully for the girls hair. I’ve heard great things about their henna to color your hair if you want to use a natural method to dye your hair. I haven’t elected to go down that route, yet. In fact I added a purple highlight to my hair this past weekend in a it’s so not natural hair color brand, although the other hair color my stylist uses on my hair at least doesn’t contain ammonia.

It’s back to testing and trying another product in the search for the shiny healthy strong hair I seek.

And now for the disclaimer: The products above and linked to in this post are ones I’ve used or suggest. I did not receive any financial compensation or product for recommending any brand or product in this post. These are my personal recommendations or items I purchase for myself or my family. Nourish to Fuel did not receive any compensation for recommending products in this post. In other words, my opinion was not bought. It’s my own from personal experience. With that noted, Nourish to Fuel is now an affiliate for Morrocco Method, because I support their products. Purchasing through the link on the website will give Nourish to Fuel a small commission which supports the blog.


Morrocco Method

Guest Post from Free and Whole Living

Part of the journey to health is finding your path, which may change over time as there is more than one way to health and wellness. My personal path lead me to a Paleo/Primal way of eating with CrossFit, olympic weightlifting, and yoga as my exercise and stress relief.
In today’s guest post, Mulu from Free and Whole Living discusses her personal path which lead her to a gluten free and vegan lifestyle. While a Paleo meat eater and a vegan may outwardly appear contradictory, for both Mulu and I eating non-processed foods and responsibly grown vegetables and fruit is something we share a passion for. Similarly we were both able to find our path to health and healing by changing the way we ate.
Here is Mulu’s story.

Mulu from Free and Whole Living

My name is Mulu.  I have spent most of my life unhealthy and overweight.

I smoked, drank, and ate very bad for so many years.  I also have been in pain and have had multiple issues for most of my life.  Two years ago my quality of life was very poor.  I spent most of my days with horrible irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms and almost debilitating migraines.  I have had so many doctor’s appointments, MRI’s, ulcer and acid reflux medications.

I started working at a Naturopathic clinic and saw several doctors.  One doctor asked me if I would consider the elimination diet to rule out gluten intolerance. Well, it was right before Thanksgiving and I didn’t do it. I continued to eat and drink like always. I quit smoking in June 2012. That was great, but I still felt awful. One day, I was in so much pain and I called out sick because of a terrible migraine, and I knew that I had to do something.  I will never forget the day that I went on the elimination diet, it was July 5, 2012.

The elimination can be brutal for many people.  You cut out wheat flour, gluten, corn, soy, eggs, dairy, nuts, and nightshades (potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants).  I ate gluten free oats, quinoa, fruit, and all vegetables except nightshades.

I hated it.  I had such a bad attitude about it.  I was so stuck on the deprivation and loss of all of the foods that I loved.  As I was introducing food back to see what I reacted to, I noticed an immediate reaction when I ate a piece of wheat toast, a hard-boiled egg, and mozzarella string cheese.

I decided to cut out wheat, gluten, egg, and dairy.  It wasn’t until six weeks later that my friend asked me if I lost weight, I didn’t. And, then she asked me how I felt. I had to stop and think.  I realized that I hadn’t had a migraine or any of the IBS symptoms in six weeks. I was more focused, had more energy, and my mood was more stable (I wasn’t snapping at people or bursting into tears).  That was the moment everything clicked for me.  I realized that what I was eating was definitely affecting the way I was feeling. Instead of focusing on the loss, I focused on the amazing foods that I was discovering and the way I was feeling.

I felt great for the first time ever.  I started walking home from work, which was about 3.5 miles.  I never walked around the block let alone 3 miles.  At the time I had this goal of running a 5k, which I never thought I could accomplish.  I joined a couch to 5k training program, it was the best thing that I ever did.  I met great and supportive people, and discovered a love for running.  It is my stress reliever and helps me cope with my chaotic life.

It has been two years and I have lost 40 pounds, and went from a size 14/16 to a 4/6.

Weight loss wasn’t my objective when I went gluten free.  Improving my quality of life was my main goal. I also like being in control of what I eat.  I make all of my food. I know exactly what I’m eating and I can pronounce all of the ingredients that I use.

You can check out my blog if you are interested in learning more about me or a gluten free and plant based lifestyle,