A quick update on me. The accident prone, clumsy-ass that I am fell last Sunday while visiting my parents. I have a micro fracture in my left patella, and a sprained right ankle. I’m a limping, groaning mess. I’m not able to run for a couple of weeks, but I hope to be back up and running in time to run my May race. Fingers crossed. I’m thinking of signing up for one in Arizona when my sister and I take our Southwest road trip toward the end of the month. Here’s to a speedy recovery!
So, a topic that I've been meaning to bring up is about some of my health and beauty routines. Back when I was attempting to rid my life of all unhealthy toxins I experimented with quite a few, interesting techniques. Everything we use on a daily basis, from our beauty routine to our cleaning supplies, is chock full of chemicals and toxins. Since our skin is the largest organ of our body, and the first to come in contact with these chemicals, you can imagine the overtime our body has to take in order to detox and rid our bodies of these foreign molecules. Many studies and experiments have been done on this subject and the results are staggering (I won’t go into them at this time, but you can easily google them). Since I knew my body was working so hard to when I was eating clean, I figured I could help it out a bit by removing a few of these items from my lifestyle.
For a short time, I did no-poo for my hair wash routine (I know it sounds gross, but google it). I have since settled on a low-poo hair care routine that is much more manageable. I’m slowly switching out beauty products and cleaning products to more natural versions (don’t trust the name, READ the ingredients label, people!) And I went on a totally clean diet at one point. Well, we all know how that’s going now with my gummy bear diet, and all. I've actually restrained the sugar monster, some. It’s a work in progress. Anyway, I really wanted to become a much healthier person than I’d been. I've read so much about how “you are what you eat” and so many chemicals in processed food contribute to anxiety and depression (something I know we are all familiar with) and the impact to the overall quality of life. The main change that I've made and kept is with my dental routine. I know what you all are thinking, that is a really risky routine to mess around with. Trust me, I know. I have an odd obsession with my teeth and I’m fairly proud of them. So, I really did not want to jack this experiment up. I believe my mom even said I would have to pay her back for all the dental work she paid to make my teefs look so pretty.
Alright, so you’re probably wondering, what did she change?! Well, for one, I started making my own toothpaste. It took a while to get used to, since the marketing and commercial world have convinced us that if something is super sudsy and foamy, then it must not be working. Well, I hate to break it to you, but those suds and foams and bubbles are most added using chemical ingredients that have a chemical reaction when you use them, the by-product being the glorious lather. The suds aren't serving any purpose to the effectiveness of the soap, shampoo, toothpaste, etc. except to invade your body with unnecessary evils that it will later have to work to detox. Poison. Why do you think it says to call poison control if ingested? Not good, y’all. This is the recipe that I pull from to make my own toothpaste. Here are the ingredients that I buy from Amazon:
Tea Tree Oil
And another added bonus? I save soooooo much money making my own. With this version, I really just add bentonite clay, peppermint castile soap, and filtered water. I switch it up each time. Eventually, you will find your own concoction that you like best.
Okay, so that’s not the end of my dental care routine. The most important part of my routine is possibly the most difficult to adjust to. But, man, once you get used to is, you can’t stop. So, I was always told (along with most Americans) that once your enamel has worn down, chipped, eroded, you can’t replace it. Well, I’m here to tell you that that is all a bunch of hokey. Sure you can’t remineralize your teeth if you’re applying harsh chemicals and abrasive crap to them. I’m sure that’s what the ADA and Colgate would love you to believe. Have you ever thought about how people kept their teeth clean BEFORE there were blue striped pastes and gels (don’t even get me started on the toxicity of the dyes they add). No, they did not just let their teeth rot out of their head before reaching adulthood. They used natural remedies to keep their teeth healthy. One of these old as time techniques is oil pulling. I started practicing oil pulling about a year and a half ago, and I've never looked back. you want to know more about oil pulling, look here. Or you can google it to find all the interesting, nerdy history stuff about it. Oil pulling is a method of dental and oral hygiene by pulling oil through your teeth. Take a teaspoon or more of oil (high quality, unrefined oil) and swish it in your mouth for 15-20 minutes. I know this sounds like torture, but you get used to it after the first week or so. It cleans, strengthens, and is even reported to help your body detox and rid toxins (something I know all of us could use). If I do it every morning after I wake up. While the timer is counting down, I pack my lunch, put away dishes, pick out my outfit, and I don’t even realize that I’m swishing. And it’s not like you have to do the dramatic, forceful swishing, just move the oil around your mouth enough to pull through all of the hidden nooks and crannies that your toothbrush can’t reach. When you’re done, spit the oil out in the trash can (never the sink!). Oil pulling actually allows the enamel on your teeth to strengthen and remineralize. Don’t listen to the lies of “once it’s gone, it’s gone.” Now, I’m not saying that it will eliminate the need for a root canal or grow back a missing tooth, but I've read that it can strengthen weak teeth and even repair small cavities. It also whitens your teeth (don’t expect them to whiten like you've dumped bleach or peroxide on them) and freshens breath. What’s not to love?!
I use a good quality, unrefined coconut oil (you can find it HERE), but I've heard you can use unrefined sesame oil or other oils. I buy coconut oil by the bucket because I use it for so many things that I will get to in other posts. Coconut oil is naturally antimicrobial and kills bacteria. What are cavities? Tooth damage caused by bacteria eating away at the enamel of your tooth. So, you all might be wondering what the dentist thinks of all this. Well, you can imagine how nervous I was at my first appointment after making this switch. I’m here to tell you and quote my dentist “my, this is one of the cleanest, healthiest mouths I’ve seen.” I don’t floss, unless I have something stuck in my teeth, because the oil pulling acts like floss moving through your teeth. It takes them no time at all to clean my teeth (and this is after waiting a bit longer than the recommended 6 months for a checkup). I've had two appointments since I've started this routine and each time he has just raved about the cleanliness of my teeth and I appreciate the no cavity report! I’m scheduling my third checkup soon. I will keep everyone posted.
So, there you have it. I oil pull for 15 minutes every morning, and follow up with a once over with my tooth brush and homemade toothpaste. I brush again before I go to bed and that’s it!
Okay, so this is just one of my little secrets for living a healthy lifestyle. I've even gotten my sister hooked on it!
I recently finished the The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell. Here is the description of the book by Amazon:
The tipping point is that magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire. Just as a single sick person can start an epidemic of the flu, so too can a small but precisely targeted push cause a fashion trend, the popularity of a new product, or a drop in the crime rate. This widely acclaimed bestseller, in which Malcolm Gladwell explores and brilliantly illuminates the tipping point phenomenon, is already changing the way people throughout the world think about selling products and disseminating ideas.
If you're looking for an entertaining read that builds your personal development library, I highly suggest this book.
I ran my April 5k last weekend. I ran my fastest time and beat the goal I set for myself. Here is a pic of all of us at the finish line.