Sunday, January 6, 2013

A New Year ... A New Leaf

Okay, so I just realized that I blew off 2012!  I can't believe that I did not make a single post.  My bad!!  With this new year, I am committed to turning over a new leaf and getting back on track. My goal for 2013 is to post - at minimum - once a month, preferably more.

This blog started out as my journey back to rawesome health through raw foods; however, after reflecting on ALL the ways our immune systems are under attack from environmental toxins, genetically modified foods, pesticides, air pollution, chemicals in our water, etc., it occurred to me that eating a healthy diet was not enough. I needed to do more.

One of changes I've made was replacing commercial shampoos and conditioners, as well as commercial cleaning products with something natural, readily available and best of all, CHEAP!  It's a lot easier than one might think. 

The natural product I'm referring to is, of all things, BAKING SODA! It is AMAZING to me how many uses there are for baking soda besides just eliminating odors from your fridge.

For example, I replaced my commercial shampoo by combining baking soda and pure black soap.  I wish I could give you a recipe, but I make it different each time.  I would venture to guess that I probably use 1 part baking soda to two parts Pure Black Soap and about one or two Tbsp of water.  If you decide to try this, you also need to pay attention to how your hair and scalp react.  Initially I used equal parts of baking soda and black soap, but it was too alkaline and caused blemishes on my scalp, so I cut back to the current proportions that work well for me.

Double duty ... While I'm in the shower washing my hair, I sprinkle baking soda on my wet hand and rub down the glass shower enclosure. It does a great job getting the water stains off the glass!  Also, since I use a homemade sugar scrub that has coconut oil and almond oil, the floor of the shower stall gets rather slick, so I sprinkle baking soda on the floor and rub it around with my feet to cut the greasiness.

I've also replaced my store bought cleansers like Comet or Ajax with baking soda.  I keep it on the counter next to my kitchen sink in a clear shaker jar. You can get them fairly cheap at Walmart, Old Time Pottery and I've even seen them at the Dollar Store. Works great!

Another area baking soda does a fantastic job is cleaning the flat ceramic cook top!  Just be SURE your burners are cool.  I cleaned my cook top once and didn't realize two burners were still warm and the baking soda kinda cooked on and left a film.  Ended up having to use Windex to make the cook top shine again.  I suppose I could have used clear vinegar rather than Windex.

Baking soda gets tomato sauce or juice stains out of plastic containers. I also use it to scrub out my sink and on pots and pans.  If you burn the bottom of your pots, no problem! Add just enough water to cover the bottom of a dish or bowl, then add approximately a 1/4 cup of baking soda and let it settle.  Set your pot in the bowl or dish so that the bottom of your pot is soaking in the baking soda/water solution.  Let soak for about an hour or so. Then remove the pot and use a plain scouring pad with baking soda on it to scrub off any residue.

Another concern is the amount of pesticides and toxins on fresh produce. Since I consume tons of fresh produce, it's essential that it be as clean as possible. I typically soak fruits, veggies and greens, such as apples, pears, cucumbers, carrots, celery, kale,spinach, etc, in water with a squirt of grapefruit seed extract. But with apples and especially cucumbers that always have that slimy nasty feel to them, I scrub them with baking soda after their soak.

Baking soda is also a great deodorizer. Sprinkle some on your carpets and let sit a while before vacuuming. Sprinkle some down the garbage disposal. Sprinkle some in your dishwasher every so often when you run a load of dishes.

OH!! And if you have those awful front-loading washers that mold up real bad like mine does, I discovered if I add a cup of baking soda to each load of laundry, it will eliminate the mold that builds up under the rubber gasket around the opening. Yippee!!  I also leave the washer door open when I'm done washing clothes till the washer has had a chance to dry out.  Otherwise, you're trapping moisture in the washer if you close the door immediately after washing and this creates an optimal environment for mold to grow.

These are just a few of the ways to reduce the amount of toxins in your environment while saving some hard earned cash! I buy the 12# bags of baking soda and keep one in the laundry room and one in the bathroom.

Some people add lemon juice or hydrogen peroxide to baking soda for cleaning, but I haven't tried that yet as using it straight has worked well for me.

Who would have ever imagined baking soda would be so useful for so many different things. I love getting back to basics.

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