Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Natural Living- Face Soap

It has not been easy to get on here to blog lately.  L is finally doing better but we still haven't really gotten our life back to normal (whatever normal means).  I am studying to take a test to extend my teaching license to cover more grades, trying to find a teaching position for next year and still trying to cook and keep the family healthy.  I have not tried any new recipes lately but plan to soon.  The farmer's markets are opening this month and I hope to start stocking up.  Busy, busy, busy...

I thought I would go ahead and jump on here and tell you all about a new face wash I am using.  I plan on making my own face wash, body wash, etc. eventually, but for now I buy as natural as possible.  The new soap is a bar soap called Olivella.  It is made with virgin olive oil from Italy according to the company.  I started using it and noticed a difference after one day.  My face is softer, less oily and less flaky/dry.  I have EXTREMELY oily skin, especially face and hair.  I have had trouble with my hair my whole life and my poor daughter has hair just like mine.  She is two and a half and already has trouble with oily hair.  I plan on experimenting a little with hair this summer when I don't have to worry about looking nice if I mess it up some day.  During the summer I jump in the pool multiple times per day anyway.  Anyway, back to my face...  If you can believe it, my face is oily and dry at the same time.  I have no idea how that happens.  And I am 28 years old and still break out like a teenager.  I have tried everything.  Through the past year I have been reading about natural methods of cleansing our bodies on the outside since we've been focusing so much on our insides already.

I bought this soap at my local health food store but you can also find it online.  If you want to check the company out, this is their website:
The exact bar soap I bought and use is:

The only ingredient which is concerning to some is the fragrance.  I'm not sure exactly what the fragrance is derived from but the other ingredients are just olive oils.  This is about as natural as you get without making your own.  As I experiment more with my own I will post blogs.  This all started when I read something about how it doesn't make sense to use the soaps we use on our faces.  Oils wash away oils, harsh chemicals do not.

Another note:  I used a scrub daily because I felt like I had build up on my face everyday whether I wore make up or not.  With this soap, I don't feel a build up at all and don't feel the need to add anything else to my cleansing routine.  Not to mention this is so much cheaper than what I was using.  I also have sensitive skin so my soaps were always more expensive.  Since I lost weight over the past year, my body chemistry has changed and I have reactions to even more of the harsh soaps.  I was using a "natural" cleanser.  The brand is Boscia.  It is incredibly expensive.  I spent between $35-$40 per bottle of face wash.  And that doesn't include the acne gel, moisturizer or scrub.  So, for $4, I have replaced at least 3-4 expensive products.

Try it.  If not this soap, then some other more natural oil method.  I have been so skeptical of all of this natural stuff for so long but now that I have started trying some of them, I believe there are many benefits to this way of life.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Canned Applesauce

With all of the digestive issues in this family, we have pretty much stopped processed food all together.  This includes jars and cans from the store which most people still use for convenience.  It is difficult to cook completely from scratch this way in this society based so much on convenience and constant go go go.  We, like many families, are often on the go but we have decided to make health a priority so that we can keep going going going.  This means I even can my own food.  I've done a few posts on freezing and I still do that quite often.  But now, I can too.  This is very new to me.  I know my great grandparents canned their own food from their own garden.  We don't have the space or time for a garden yet though that is the ultimate goal.  For now, I will stock up when the farmer's market has a good selection and when I find organic produce on sale at the grocery stores.  So far, I have only canned applesauce.  But it is so good!  I bought this great little pressure cooker which also doubles as a water bath cooker.  The applesauce was done in a water bath and here are the instructions:

Ingredients and Materials:
Large pot for cooking apples
Peeler/Corer or good knife
Water bath canner
A big bunch of apples

Peel and core apples.  Place the apple slices in a large pot with about an inch of water in the bottom.  (More or less water depending on the size of the pot and amount of apples.)  Cook apples on the stove and stir until all apple slices are tender.  Mash with a potato masher.  I'm sure you could also process in a food processor or something similar if you want a finer texture applesauce.  Spoon the applesauce into pint canning jars.  You should taste it now.  I used really great granny smith apples and they were great just like this.  But, depending on the type of apple, you may want to add a little sugar.  You want to add the sugar and cinnamon or other optional ingredients before you spoon into jars.  After the jars are full and closed, submerge them in the water bath with about an inch of water above the jars.  Boil in the water bath for about twenty minutes.  NOTE:  If you live in a higher altitude, you will need to boil longer.
After twenty minutes, pull the cans out carefully and let them cool completely before storing.  I set out a couple of kitchen towels and set the jars on them to cool.  They need about 12 hours to cool before storage.

(Pictures to come later.  I have a new computer and I'm still getting things switched around.)