Exploring Natural Deodorants

I’m always making the effort to use natural skin care products as much as I can. While I am definitely not using 100% natural 100% of the time, trying out and making natural products has been another step in the right direction. Our skin is our largest organ and is incredibly important. I’m trying to give mine the TLC it deserves!

You may have been wondering what the fuss is all about regarding natural deodorants or perhaps you’re just curious as to why my friend Laura Lea (llbalanced.com) and I decided to stay in on a Friday night this summer and make homemade deodorant. Well, besides the obvious ( we are total health nerds), we wanted to see if we could use natural ingredients to make a daily, skin friendly, and chemical free deodorant that would work. This all stared when I read an article in a wellness journal on my flight down to Nashville a few weeks ago. So far, we have found that our homemade deodorant actually works! Awesome!

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Home deodorant making. Melting beeswax and coconut oil! (See link below for recipe from Wellness Mama)

My curiosity about natural deodorants started a few years ago while I was teaching middle school physical education. I asked my students to bring some deodorant into school to keep in their gym lockers. As I’m sure many of you can recall, middle school years can be brutal and no one, NO ONE, wants to be the “stinky kid”. As I expected, many kids brought in a variety of different brands of common deodorants, but more and more I began to notice that students were bringing in natural deodorants or more natural mainstream brands. These students voiced that their parents had said regular brands contained dangerous chemicals or were too strong for young kids. This sparked my interested and I started to look into these claims a bit. At the time, I settled on Dove brand as it seemed relatively gentle.

There is a ton of reserach to argue several points on the matter, and while I’m certainly no scientist, it simply took me getting pregnant to explore further into the idea of natural deodorant. When I found out I was pregnant the intensity in which I read about healthy living material doubled. This was likely because of my somewhat neurotic personality and the fact that I took my pregnancy very seriously. I felt strongly that I had a responsibility to take the best care of myself as humanly possible. Certainly this did not mean being “perfect” (whatever that even means..), but it did mean that I immediately wanted to limit the potential for chemicals being absorbed into my skin on the chance that they would reach the placenta. This is not something I’m being “over the top” about, this is a reality. Our skin absorbs everything and so we need to pay close attention to that fact. (Click here to read more on skin care during pregnancy).  At the recommendation of a friend, I started using a wonderful brand of spray organic deodorant by the company EO products. They make amazing products that smell unbelievable and can be founds at many locations such as your local Whole Body at Whole Foods Market.  I used this throughout my entire pregnancy. What’s nice is that you can reapply it throughout the day without the yucky layering affect of most solid sticks. I do want to say , however,  that I did continue to use Dove only when I had a special event such as a wedding.

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After giving birth I continued to use my natural spray deodorant and started to explore other options. In fact, there are a ton of natural deodorants out there and more are coming on the market as we speak! In fact, recently The Honest Company released a spray on deodorant which I absolutely LOVE. Many people are finding that they like the Thai crystal deodorant as well, I have yet to try that one so I can’t comment on it just yet!

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Some of you may still be thinking “ok, what’s the big deal ? ” and are not convinced it’s worth the switch. I’m not trying to convince but simply raise awareness that it may be something worth looking into. Check out this article from mindbodygreen.com and do be aware that the internet is filled with opposing views on the matter. It’s totally up to you how YOU feel about it. I do encourage you to explore if you are finding that you want to learn more about this topic.

For the recipe on the homemade deordant that my friend Laura Lea and I made, check out Wellness Mama (another outstanding resource!).

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So how many of you out there are using natural deodorants or other beauty products? Feel free to share you recommendations in the comments section!

Flip the switch on workout boredom

Working out, especially if you are just getting started,  can be overwhelming and certainly can be viewed as boring. The repetitive nature of getting to the gym and getting on the treadmill or elliptical may not be enough to excite you. workout1That makes total sense to me (even though I sometimes do those things during the week as “maintenance”). On these machines, you’re literally moving forward but not going anywhere….and I’m starting to think that’s sending a subliminal message to all of us! Work as hard as you can but not move forward? Are YOU doing this several times a week with no attachment or connection to what you’re doing? What is your workout mindset?

If you’re hoping to spice up your workouts this spring season and want to avoid the bore of the same old thing, then let’s switch it up! Flip the switch on your workout mindset by varying your physical activities. You’re body can physically respond well to this– the unexpected. Knowing that you’re going to the gym for the same old routine can make you become disconnected to what it is you are doing. You’re body may be working but where is your mind? Counting down the minutes until it’s all over? (We’ve all been there!)

If you are in this situation then try taking a difference approach to your weekly workouts. The best way to do this is to explore new and different types of exercise that you haven’t thought to try before, maybe something that scares you a bit. Many years ago I was intimidated by indoor cycling. workout3A colleague and friend from work took me for my first class and I was immediately hooked! I had no idea that this transformative experience would quickly become a new addition to my workout arsenal. So sprinkle in one or two of these new activities into your week. Perhaps you’ve always wanted to try yoga, spinning, pilates, or running but have held back for whatever reason. Just try it! You have nothing to lose and so much to gain! Try new classes that are offered at your gym or in your city that you’ve overlooked before. If you don’t feel comfortable trying a new class alone, recruit a buddy! Having a partner in crime is definitely the way to go and will take some of the anxiety out of being the newbie in class. My point is this, working out can be boring– if you LET IT. Take control of the situation. Become an explorer with an open-minded approach. Try new classes, new workouts, and new regimens. Try outdoor activities. No one ever gets bored or lethargic in fresh air and sunshine! Also, be open to flexibility — if you can’t get to your normal class, try something else. I learned this after having my son. Prior to being pregnant I had a routine and my go-to classes. But after giving birth I quickly realized I had to get workouts in when I could (often at home in my living room via youtube ). I had to become more flexible with scheduling and allow for variety. I found that I began to value my exercise time even more because it was so precious (time alone and time for me). Some days I can get to a class and sometimes a whole week (or more!) will go by and I have to improvise.

Here’s my final thought for you– working out is a luxury. Yep. That may sound a little crazy to some of you but think about it. It’s time alone, time for you, time for self-improvment. We mustn’t allow ourselves to look at it as drag and succumb to the boring same old — same old.workout2 Instead, look at it as an opportunity to enrich your health and allow yourself to explore all the many wonderful and exciting things that you can do with your body and your mind. Once you wrap your head around this concept, working out will not be boring, it will become a treat, a necessary part of your life that you actually look forward to.  Can you give this mindset a try?

Please share your workout motivation stories and comments! How do you avoid workout boredom?

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