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

Spiced Pumpkin Coffee Ice Cream

Pumpkin Spice Coffee Ice CreamCool crisp air. Orange, yellow, and red leaves. Cozy sweaters and scarves. Hot tea and coffee. Pumpkin patches and apple orchards. Hearty soups and slow cooked stews. Spiced pumpkin coffee ice cream? Yes, everything I love about fall plus ice cream. Because ice cream is good anytime of the year.

I held off on pumpkin everything until I met my husband. I was all about apple and berry pies for the holidays. I never had pumpkin pie, a pumpkin spice latte, pumpkin bread, or pumpkin anything except a jack-o-lantern. But he loves pumpkin pie. Okay, he loves pies. So I made him pumpkin pie, pumpkin chocolate chip bread, pumpkin chai bread, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin porridge, etc. All things pumpkin! And along the way I got hooked too.

If you follow the natural food sphere or have a Facebook account, you most likely heard about the lack of pumpkin in a pumpkin spice latte and the addition of caramel coloring made from ammonia in a pumpkin spice latte from the mermaid coffee shop. Not very appetizing. But it confirms my choice to give them up a few seasons ago. Pumpkin, spices, and coffee is a good flavor combination though. It brings the warm spices of fall together with the sweetness of pumpkin and the kick of caffeine. It’s also the inspiration for this dairy and sugar free ice cream that can be made with or without an ice cream machine. Plus it actually contains pumpkin and zero caramel coloring!

Pumpkin Pie ApartI used Chameleon Cold-Brew black coffee concentrate for the recipe because of how smooth it is. Other cold brew coffees or home brewed then chilled coffee can be bitter. If you use another brand of cold-brew coffee in the recipe or home brewed strong coffee, increase the salt to 1 teaspoon (salt counteracts bitterness) and increase the dates to 12 if you want extra sweetness.

Bonus: Use the recipe for Not Sugar Cookies from Paleo Parents eBook ‘Paleo to Go’ and coconut whipped cream to add to a few scoops of Pumpkin Spice Coffee Ice Cream for a pumpkin pie apart, as suggested by our 7 year old.

 

Spiced Pumpkin Coffee Ice Cream

Serves: 1½ Quarts

Hands on Prep Time: 10 minutes Total Time: 75 to 95 minutes
Ingredients
  • 10 soft room temperature Medjool Dates, pitted
  • 1 can full fat 100% Coconut Milk
  • 1 cup Pumpkin Puree
  • 1 cup cold strong Coffee
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • ½ teaspoon Salt (increase to 1 teaspoon if using chilled home brewed coffee)
  • 1 tablespoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
Instructions
  1. Add Medjool Dates and Coconut Milk into a high speed blender. Blend until combined.
  2. Add Pumpkin Puree, Coffee, Vanilla Extract, Salt, and Pumpkin Pie Spice to blender. Blend until smooth.
  3. If using an ice cream machine: Place ice cream mixture in refrigerator for 45 to 60 minutes until chilled. Remove from refrigerator. Pour mixture into ice cream machine for 20 to 25 minutes until thickened or as directed by ice cream machine manufacturer. Serve immediately or chill in a covered glass baking dish in the freezer until served. Ice cream machine is recommended because it adds air and lightness to the ice cream that cannot be achieved without it.
  4. No ice cream machine: Pour mixture into a glass baking dish, cover and freeze until solid.

For homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice try Stupid Easy Paleo’s recipe.

eBook Review: Paleo to Go

Paleo to GoEating well at home is relatively easy. I stock the kitchen and pantry with fresh vegetables, grass fed meat, healthy fats, and some fruits so we’ve got plenty of options for nutrient dense real food meals. If I don’t plan ahead and pack food to go, I get stuck trying to figure out the best possible options for myself or the family from whatever is nearby. If I’m lucky that happens to be a Whole Foods salad bar, but more often than not it’s the mermaid coffee shop. Add the complications of one of us having severe food allergies, another who won’t eat the protein packed in their lunch, one who has a nasty killer sweet tooth that comes out to play with a vengeance if they don’t have their own food, and another who is suddenly picky. Making sure we have a variety of options for school, work, and travel foods is constant work.

Lunch ideas was something I was asked for multiple times when I did a recent survey asking what you wanted more of. It was unanimous that to-go lunch ideas for work and school would be helpful. Right on time, Paleo to Go, the new eBook by the Paleo Parents, was released. Our family went through the new eBook and each picked a recipe we wanted to try and the girls filled out the ‘My Favorite Things’ worksheet to give their seal of approval on certain items they will always accept packed into their lunches. Which is really helpful for both the picky one and the one who won’t eat their protein. Getting them involved with what’s packed results in it getting eaten.

Paleo to Go addresses the what to pack issue with more than 50 recipes and favorite Paleo friendly convenience foods in an easy to navigate format. The eBook outlines packing a protein, fat, veggies, and fruit including meal and snack ideas to cover each of the categories. It also includes a great section on storage containers for lunches and can easily be printed if you prefer a printed page over an electronic one.

But wait…there’s more.

An avoiding allergens guide is included with multiple options for substitutions including a new option to replace almond flour for those allergic to tree nuts. Every recipe has a photo symbol below the recipe title indicating which allergens the recipe avoids making it really easy to chose a recipe if you have someone in the house with a food allergy.

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We chose to make the Sweet Potato Drop Biscuits, Beef Bacon Sliders, Banana Bread Balls, and the Not Sugar Cookies recipes from the eBook, as photographed from our house above in the slideshow. Every single recipe was well received, and eaten, by each member of our house. The Sweet Potato Drop Biscuits were flavorful and moist but held together really well, and the leftovers were used for fried egg sandwiches for breakfast the next morning. The Beef Bacon Sliders were amazingly tasty with the addition of bacon. The Banana Bread Balls were sweet and had a great soft and slightly crunchy texture while the Not Sugar Cookies didn’t last through the day because they were eaten all up. The 7 year old realized the No Sugar Cookies would make a great faux crust to go with the pumpkin spice dairy free ice cream I was recipe development testing. We thoroughly enjoyed every recipe we tried and everything came out just like it should and was easy to make.

Paleo to Go Contents

While Paleo to Go is great for families, people who follow a Paleo diet, and those with allergies, it’s a great resource for anyone. Basically, if you eat lunch you will find something helpful in this book.

Paleo to Go includes:

  • Over 50 recipes
  • SAMPLE LUNCHES section with over 40 complete and healthy snack and meal ideas, perfect for on-the-go
  • Avoiding Allergens guide
  • Recipe and Allergen Index
  • A Healthy Meal in 3 Steps Guide
  • IN THE BOX list: Ideas for Packing the Perfect Lunch guide
  • Guide to storage containers
  • Guide to GRAB-AND-GO paleo-friendly convenience foods
  • Printable MY FAVORITES THINGS, an I approve list to use when packing lunches
  • EXCLUSIVE COUPONS and DISCOUNTS
  • Viewable on your computer, laptop, tablet, or printable
Click to buy Paleo to Go now!
Click to buy Paleo to Go now!

We really enjoyed Paleo to Go and have been having fun all week packing lunches from suggestions in the book. If you don’t have Paleo Parents first eBook, 3 Phase Paleo, you’re in luck because you can get both eBooks for a special bundled price by clicking the link below. 3 Phase Paleo demonstrates how easy it is to transition to Paleo in 3 easy steps.

Paleo Parents Bundle

 

 

 

Weight Loss Series: Introduction

They tried to get me to hate food.

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Before I took matters into my own hands to lose weight, each visit to the medically managed weight loss clinic was incredibly depressing. They tried to get me to hate food through humiliation, severely limiting calories, and behavior modification. While I understand the result the clinic was aiming for, the methods could have been a little better.

Every visit started with a scale to measured body fat percentage and weight followed by the tape measure. Neck, arms, waist, and thighs were all measured and printed on a piece of paper with your past measurements for comparison. Then you were lead into an exam room to sit and wait for the doctor holding an over-sized model of 5 pounds of fat. Yes, you read correctly, a model of fat. The fat model is over a foot long, several inches high, and is a huge exaggeration of adipose tissue. It was a fat shaming time out. “Here sit here with this giant fat glob of fat and think about what you’ve eatAdventure Timeen. “

I guess the point was to make you feel good about losing weight and disgusted by the fat as the measurements on your print out went down. I didn’t cooperate very well. I refused to sit there and hold the sticky fake fat glob. Guess it worked at least on the disgust angle. I’d rather be happy with my lumps than forced to sit in fat shaming time out.

I ultimately succeeded at weight loss without surgery or medically managed weight loss, but at what expense? Trying to get me to hate food resulted in being more obsessed with food than ever before. I never had a bad outlook on food. I knew what I should be eating and that I should be exercising, but food from a box or a drive thru was much easier than shopping, chopping, preparing, and cooking for myself. Or so I thought, until I changed the way I ate, started eating again, and cooking and planning meals for myself and family.

I understand when someone is overweight they may need a wake up call to have lasting changes that lead to weight loss. Mine was not being able to fit in the cape my hairdresser put on me. It was humiliating. I didn’t need to be put in fat time out with a glob of fake fat. What anyone who is committed to making any change really needs is a moment followed by commitment to change. After your moment, determining what your goal is will help direct you towards the steps to get started on the path to reaching that goal.

In an upcoming series of posts, I will be outlining steps you can start right away to reach a weight loss goal, of any kind. If it’s a small goal of losing 5 to 20 pounds or a bigger goal of losing 100 pounds, you can do it. My before weight loss photos above (which are scary for me to actually put out there on the internet to live on virtually forever), versus my more current ones are proof it can be done. I won’t advise you to sit in the corner with a model of fat to think about what you’ve done. I’ll congratulate you and motivate you to do it the right way, with real food and movement.

Oil Cleansing Works…It Works Really Well

Fatface SkincareMy adventures in natural health and beauty products have been met with success in deodorant and struggles in no poo hair care, but I was not very optimistic about changing my facial care routine. I loved the products cluttering my bathroom dearly and had a whole wish list of new products to try, but each product was full of chemicals. In trying to eliminate as many chemicals as possible from my beauty routine, I knew I needed to try something else. I kept reading about oil cleansing but was very hesitant to put oil on my oily skin. After all, I would go through Biore oil blotting cloths like a madwoman until I ran out and resorted to dabbing my face with paper towels in the bathroom several times per day. Then I tried oil cleansing, just to say I tried it and it didn’t help. How wrong I was. Oil cleansing works and it works really well.

I’ve loved clothes and fashion magazines for as long as I can remember. I once challenged myself in high school to wear a different outfit everyday for as many days as I could, I got to almost 60 days before I had a repeat. Before I lost all the weight, I couldn’t wear the clothes I so adored from the magazines, but I could wear the shoes, carry the bags, and I certainly could purchase the beauty products. And purchase them I did. In abundance, as evidenced by the lack of space in our master bathroom. I bought every interesting product I read about to combat acne, non-existent wrinkles, dry skin, oily skin, you name it I tried it. Yet even with all my products and ritual daily use of a clarisonic brush, I was still breaking out, my skin was still oily and dull, and at times very dry. Complaining about my skin to my esthetician during a every 4 weeks on the dot eyebrow wax, she asked me what my routine was. After listing the 5 or 6 products I used in the morning and the similar number I used before bed, she stated maybe I should simplify my routine.

My estheticians comments came right before I purchased FATface Skincare’s Stank Stop  to try on my pits. I decided to purchase a sample size of their cleansing oil for oily skin when I ordered Stank Stop for the first time. I didn’t try it at first though, because the thought of putting oil on my skin still freaked me out. I spent so much time trying to get rid of the oil I just couldn’t fathom putting more on. I read a comment about chemistry that “like dissolves like” and had my lightbulb facial care moment. In order to get rid of the oil on my face, so my skin can manage it’s own oil production at a normal rate instead of in overdrive, I needed to try putting oil on my skin. So I tried it.

And it worked. It worked really well. The night after using FATface cleansing oil for the first time I woke up with super soft skin. In 2 weeks of nightly use I had fewer breakouts and no longer needed to escape to the bathroom to dab excess oil from my face. My skin is brighter and at times glowing. Using oil on my face worked so well I added the FATface Myrrhaculous Face Cream to my routine for additional moisturizer (hello beef tallow) and organic rosehip oil (rosehip oil is in the Myrrhaculous Face Cream as well, I use extra) to combat the few old acne scars I have. That’s it. I went from using 10 to 12 products on my face in one day to 3, just 3. 3 products I use only before bedtime. I rinse my face in the morning with cold water and my skin looks so much better than before.

So much better that when our 10 year old started to get oily skin and break outs on her nose, I had her try washing with FATface cleansing oil too. If it worked on my skin, I thought it would be worth a try for hers. She loves putting the cleansing oil on her skin and using a hot washcloth to wipe it away. She rubs the excess oil onto her neck and her hands and now holding her hand is extra amazing because she has the softest hands ever! Seriously. While she still has a few hormonal breakouts on her nose, the rest of her skin looks pore-less and luminescent.

Needless to say my fashion magazine obsession has not cooled down and I still read about all the new beauty products. I no longer have a desire to purchase them all. My new routine is much simpler, quicker, and easy to follow, but has much better results than anything else I’ve tried. I finally got the results I wanted from oil cleansing and now I get space in the bathroom too as I clear out the old products I will never go back to using.

While I elected to use pre-made natural products, you can create your own recipe for oil cleansing. For more information on oil cleansing, including where to purchase the items I use and a recipe to make your own cleansing oil, check out the following links.

 

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 does 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 FATface Skincare because I believe in their products so much. Purchasing through the link on the website will give Nourish to Fuel a small commission which supports the blog. 

FATface Skincare