Your Mood is Your Medicine

Reduce Plastic and Recycle Easy

Posted: March 20th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , | 1 Comment »

I bought two stainless steel travel jars for my kids to the tune of say $12 apiece. Within 2 days the little rubber piece (in the plastic top) had gone missing, which made it a spilly cup more than a sippy cup.
To reduce my plastic usage we save glass jars-  wash them in the dishwasher and they make space- saving food storage that we put in our lunchbox (and remind children not to throw the lunchbags…).   I save everything from pesto jars for juice glasses and kid cups to pasta sauce jars for big enough water cups that I can take to work for an iced latte or herbal tea.  The jars are actually much sturdier than our store bought glasses were (before we broke them one by one.)

One of my favorites is buying juice in concentrate form- at our local natural market we get elderberry (don’t get me started on the benefits…), cranberry, black cherry, pomegranate, etc. in syrup form.  I don’t even mix up big gallons- I put it in the fridge as is, where it saves fridge real estate and I can vary the intensity for different household palates.  I just splash a bit in when water just won’t do and- presto! colorful juice I can control the sugar content of!  When the concentrate is all gone… the bottles are the perfect size for lunch drinks.  (If you are sending another glass container be sure to wrap your reusable cloth napkin around one or the other to prevent breakage).  

For sandwiches we mostly use wax or butcher paper sealed with a little masking tape- while not necessarily the most ecological it’s still a convenient and less plasticky choice.  You can reuse the waxed paper (depending on the sandwich,) and if your children are like mine, they can color on the butcher paper later.  

The best part is you can write your love note right on their food!


Beauty Products in Your Pantry

Posted: March 13th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , | No Comments »

Essentially I got into making my own natural beauty care products by accident. When I say “make” that’s actually not true- with three children I don’t have time for mixing up potions very much, so I keep it simple.  Years ago, in a natural health market I was about to buy a $30 facial scrub. Luckily I looked at the ingredients, of which there were two- cornmeal and myrrh powder. Four ounces of cornmeal and myrrh…

Given the extensive claims on the packaging, I instead bought the two ingredients for $5, and made enough to last years, with leftover to make cornbread.  Myrrh powder as it turns out is medicinal, historically used for mouth cleansers to heal and kill bacteria (those wise men were bearing fresh breath.)  Corn meal, finely ground makes a gentle scrubbing abrasive.  If you read beauty labels all the high-end stuff is touting things that you already buy to ingest- green tea, vitamin c, fruit acids…

A whole lot cheaper is to open your fridge and rub a strawberry on your face.

I know that sounds kind of crazy, and you’ll have to be careful your kids aren’t looking, ’cause there will be strawberry mashed all over your house, but it works.  Go to a luxury organic spa and guess what they’re using?  Your guacamole, (ok, just the avocado) milk, honey and fruits.  From an Ayurvedic perspective milk has cooling properties, soothing inflammation and dryness.  Avocado has a somewhat similar benefit with more moisturizing emollient properties.  

For a really simple pick- my face up, pour a cup of your favorite herbal tea, while steeping rub your fruit on your face, hold the cup near your face to let the steam into your pores, and when it’s done steeping use the teabag to wipe off the residue.

Here are some of your common ingredients filled with natural goodness, not to mention buzzworthy scientific things like antioxidants, enzymes, amino acids and proteins:

Cucumber is clarifying and soothing for combination skin, strawberries for oily skin and avocado for dry.  Licorice is the major natural ingredient in non-hydroquinone lighteners and pigmentation reduction- it’s used to reduce redness and inflammation and also has antiviral properties. So when I make my kids a cup of tea I rub the teabag on my face. Chamomile I use similarly- it helps with irritation and sensitivity. Raw honey is also used for pretty much anything as it is a powerful natural antibiotic and also has tons of enzymes- it has been used for eons as a moisturizer and wound healer- it’s a little sticky, but when mixed with a lotion or used diluted it’s not nearly as sticky a you’d think.  Coconut oil is used on our hair (if you have finer hair you can use it as a deep conditioner, then wash it out)  and our bodies- it is antifungal and it smells like an island vacation too.