Natural Living

Corn sensitivity in babies

Corn sensitivity in babies

So, as soon as I removed gluten from my diet, things got really rough. Daniel went from sleeping ok at night (waking 2-3 times), to waking every 1-2 hours all. night. long. I knew it was something I was eating, but it's hard to figure these things out when you're so massively sleep deprived!

I walked through my days feeling like a zombie. Daniel had no other symptoms except these night wakings. Having had two other babies before, I knew this wasn't normal. Babies need sleep, and even healthy newborns typically go one long stretch (4ish hours) at night. He was crying hard every time he woke up, would nurse for just a few minutes, then go back to sleep. 

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What's Wrong With My Baby? Milk and Soy Protein Intolerance (MSPI)

What's Wrong With My Baby? Milk and Soy Protein Intolerance (MSPI)

One of the most difficult aspects of having a baby with food intolerances is the lack of awareness,  and the lack of understanding and acceptance that comes with it. Many people, even doctors, don't know that babies can even have food intolerances! I knew dairy and soy intolerances were common in babies, but I wasn't aware of the nitty gritty details until Daniel was born.

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Weekend Reading

Happy Mother’s Day! Well, it’s tomorrow, but close enough. Brothers My two reasons to celebrate tomorrow. And every day!

Food for Thought
  • If you’re unsure about whether or not soy is a healthy addition to your diet, check out this article. An excerpt from The Whole Soy Story, this article hits the main issues I have with soy products.
  • I didn’t even know a garden hose filter existed! I love our Berkey water filter for our drinking water, but I was just thinking the other day that it’s a bummer the boys play in the hose water that reeks of chlorine. And we water our garden with it!
Food to Eat
  • Ok, I know that fermented foods are super good for us, but I’m honestly scared of lacto-fermentation. I just made the chickpea wraps (SUPER good!) from The Everything Beans Book, and I think I might have to try this raisin chutney recipe, which I think would go great with the chickpea wraps. Although I can tell you right now I’ll be the only one willing to eat something called, “Raisin Chutney”.
  • Something a little more mainstream and fun is homemade strawberry jam-sweetened with honey and no pectin needed! If you have older kids this might be the perfect weekend project.
  • This website is all recipes with quinoa! Awesome idea, and I’ve already bookmarked quite a few yummy-looking recipes.

A Head to Toe Guide to Soothing Aches and Pains Naturally

A Head to Toe Guide to Soothing Aches and Pains Naturally

It’s considered perfectly normal to pop a pain reliever on a regular basis. I’m not against using medication when needed, but if there’s a natural alternative I tend to go that route and avoid the drugs when possible. Even a simple tylenol has side effects and negative health consequences, and I believe even mild pain relievers should be used very sparingly. But no one likes to be in pain! My first rule of thumb is to always remember that pain is my body telling me something. Fixing the root cause of pain is always best, and masking pain can actually lead to more pain down the road if the real cause of pain is ignored.

But there are natural ways to soothe aches and pains, no bottle needed!

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Fight Allergies Naturally! 7 Ways to Get Relief

Spring time for me as a kid meant picnics in the yard with my sisters, building forts with my brothers and begging mom to let us open the pool (even though it was still in the 70’s during the day and chilly at night). I remember picking goldenrod by the bunches and hanging it around the forts. I had to make it homey looking, you know! My poor older brother hated the flowers and not just because it made his awesome, manly fort look like a girl’s playhouse. Spring time for him meant sneezing, itchy, watery eyes, a runny nose and even coughing and trouble breathing. His spring allergies were fierce, and I can still picture him out mowing the lawn, coughing and sneezing (and wasn’t I a nice sister for watching him from the house?). Even better, I remember being so glad I didn’t have allergies. Yeah, sister-of-the-year award goes to me for sure.

Pollen Photo source

Well then I grew up and got pregnant, and I guess my body was a little preoccupied growing a baby and my immune system took a nose dive. That spring I was miserable. For two months I felt like I had a cold constantly-sneezing, itchy, watery eyes, and worst of all, I turned into a mouth breather. I just couldn’t breathe, I was so stuffed up!

Since that spring I’ve had “hay fever” every spring and a bit in the fall. I’ve tested out a few natural remedies and found some that really help a lot! Here’s a list of some natural aids that have helped me and other folks deal with allergies.

Filling The Pollen Sacs Photo source

1. Raw, local honey- This has made the biggest difference for me. I make sure I get a big spoonful of raw, local honey each day. Spread on toast and stirred into iced coffee are my two favorite ways to eat my daily “dose”. Locally produced honey is supposed to help your body grow accustomed to the pollen in the area so it no longer triggers an allergic reaction.

2. Marshmallow and astragalus- These two herbs helped me so much when I was pregnant with Joseph. Together they calm and strengthen (but not stimulate or boost) the immune system, which is exactly what I needed. After a winter of being sick for months my immune system was going a little haywire. I took marshmallow and astragalus root in capsule form and it calmed my immune system’s response to the pollen. I could breathe again!

3. Shower, morning and night- It seems excessive, but since we typically sleep with our windows open in the spring and fall, showering twice a day to keep the pollen off me really helped.

4. Neti Pot- This is another pretty well known suggestion for allergy sufferers, but if you’ve never tried it, please do! It’s definitely weird the first time, but you do get used to it. And it helps so, so much! Not only does it clear the pollen out of your sinuses, it flushes out excess mucus, too.

5. Fresh nettle tincture- I have not tried this, but I have a friend who has had great success taking fresh nettle tincture to control his allergies. I’m not sure why, but supposedly fresh nettle leaves are to be used in making the tincture, otherwise it’s not as effective. If you feel like doing some foraging, this might be a great option and a fun new project!

6. A neck rub- But not the kind you’re probably thinking of! Behind and under the ears, and also under your chin are many lymph nodes. Massaging them can help the lymph more effectively drain mucus and toxins from the body. Any time I start to feel any congestion in my ears or nose I gently massage under my ears and chin and down my throat to encourage drainage. It’s surprising how well this works! I usually put a few drops of eucalyptus and tea tree essential oil in a tablespoon of olive oil to use as my massage oil. Eucalyptus and tea tree make it a little easier to breathe, too.

7. Red raspberry leaf tea- Usually red raspberry leaf  (commonly abbreviated RRL) is associated with pregnancy or women’s problems, but it’s actually a fantastic herb for many different troubles. One of its strengths is helping the body get rid of mucus, so I drink lots of it during the spring and fall. A cup or two a day helps some people, but I usually just make a small pot and drink it throughout the day. As a bonus, when I drink RRL tea consistently each month, my periods are cramp-free!

 

How do you deal with seasonal allergies?

This post is a part of Tuesdays Outside the Box at Crunchy Betty.

 

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. I cannot give you medical advice and you should always consult with your health care provider. I share what has worked for me and hope that you find it informative and are encouraged to take charge of your own health and make healthy choices.

 

Garlic III: Garlic Paste

IMG_2319 “And WHAT is garlic paste used for?” you ask. Maybe you’re thinking this is getting just a little too out there.

Well, you put garlic paste on you feet and leave it overnight. Obviously.

Ok, so it’s definitely not a mainstream home remedy. But it’s highly effective, easy to make and use, and really, how mainstream am I? Not very!

If you need convincing that something will penetrate through the skin on your feet, try this:

  • Put on a pair of socks.
  • Put on a pair of shoes.
  • Peel a clove of garlic (don’t crush it) and place it between your sock and shoe.
  • Count how long it is before you can taste garlic in your mouth.

Are you convinced now?

Feet tend to be tough with lots of callouses. Since the skin is hard I used to assume that not much would penetrate, and dismissed any natural remedies that suggested applying anything to the feet.

That was before last winter. Last winter I experimented a lot with herbs, especially with garlic. I was pregnant, it was an exceptionally harsh winter, and we got sick a lot. Not just a little cold here and there, but really sick, coughing-til-you-throw-up kind of sick. I even started contracting at one point from the coughing. That’s when I got really serious about fighting sickness.

Before last winter, while I was learning about herbs and firmly believed that natural was best in most cases, I hadn’t learned to be very aggressive when we got sick. Sure, I did things naturally in the sense that I just let our body’s immune systems fight it (instead of taking over the counter cold medicine to suppress symptoms). But I didn’t do much herbally to actually aid the body in fighting the illness. With a minor cold that’s totally ok. When you’re 7 months pregnant and coughing until you puke, it’s not ok.

I had been to my midwife, Elaine, (a certified nurse-midwife) and gotten one round of antibiotics because I was overwhelmed and scared. Not a good combination. At the end of two weeks the antibiotics were gone and I was even more sick than before I took them. My midwife wanted to give me another round of stronger antibiotics. I decided it was time to quit being a wimp and take the garlic. I told her I would give it three more days and then come get more antibiotics.

I started taking three cloves of garlic a day on a spoon. I put garlic poultices on my chest, back and neck. And I put the garlic paste on my feet at night. Jonathan was also sick, but not nearly as bad I was. Maybe because I was putting the garlic paste on his feet before it progressed that far?

Three days later I was not completely better, but almost. After being sick for two months, I was finally getting healthy again! This experience sold me on the powers of garlic. And I learned to fight illness early and aggressively.

This winter I haven’t forgotten my lesson. If the boys so much as sneeze too many times or fuss more than usual in a day, they get garlic paste on their feet that night. There have been a lot of nasty illnesses going around our community this winter, but we’ve only had an occasional mild cold. I can only think that this is due to the blessings of the Lord and the power of garlic!

Garlic Paste For Your Feet

-Ingredients-

2 cloves garlic 1 T. petroleum jelly

gauze pads masking tape socks

olive oil

1. Smash garlic with the bottom of a glass and peel. Crush or finely chop garlic and place in a small bowl. Let sit for 10 minutes.

IMG_2331

2. Add petroleum jelly and mix well. Cut a gauze pad in half (because you’re cheap too, right?) and spread half the garlic paste on each piece of gauze.

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3. Get ready for a garlic party! Or, get the person ready. For the boys, I make sure they have clean diapers/pull-ups and their pajamas on. I spread a blanket on the living room floor and lay them both down (we’re all about efficiency around here). I set the oil, socks, garlic gauze and strips of tape on the floor by the blanket.

Tip: Don’t leave the garlic gauze unattended next to the baby. It will get spread everywhere. That’s experience talking!

4. It helps to have an assistant. Rub olive oil liberally on the soles of the feet. Place a piece of gauze on the sole of each foot, garlic paste touching the skin. I place two pieces of tape on each foot, wrapping all the way around to the top of the foot. This is not necessary, but the boys move a lot in their sleep and it helps keep it in place. Gently slide a sock over each foot. Leave on until morning, or at least several hours.

Tip: If you have a child that’s coordinated enough to take his socks off, be sure to have a serious talk about the importance of leaving his socks on all night. Bribery is totally cool in this case!

5. The next morning take the socks off (inside out is good because there’s usually some garlic on the inside of the sock), remove the tape and gauze and wipe any residual garlic paste off. It’s normal for the skin to be red or even peel slightly, but this has never been painful or even tender for us.

Notes: I’ve done this with Joseph when he was very young- 4 or 5 weeks old was the first time, but I only left it on for about four hours. Use your own discretion!

Recipe and method are from Herbal Home Healthcare by John R. Christopher. Instructions are my own.

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. I cannot give you medical advice and you should always consult with your health care provider. I share what has worked for me and hope that you find it informative and are encouraged to take charge of your own health and make healthy choices.

Garlic II: How To Make A Simple Garlic Poultice

Last time I talked about garlic I shared some excerpts from two of my favorite herb books on why garlic is so useful as an infection fighter. I showed you how I take it like a man woman, but promised that I had some easier ways to use garlic! Today I’ll walk you through how I make a simple garlic poultice. But first, a few things I use poultices for:

  • Chest congestion/coughs-when one of my boys gets sick with a nasty cough, a garlic poultice on their back and chest helps quickly loosen the congestion and fight the cold. With a wiggly little one who doesn’t want to sit still, I just wrap an ace bandage around his chest and back to secure the poultice so he can go play while still benefitting from the garlic.
  • Bug bites where there might be poison or infection-Any time we get a bite that looks unfamiliar, swells a lot or gets hot, I apply a garlic poultice.

 

How to Make a Garlic Poultice

-Ingredients-

2 cloves garlic olive oil

paper towel or cotton cloth

 

1. Smash garlic with the bottom of a glass, then peel.

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2. Fold paper towel or cloth into a small square. Place garlic in the center and smash again with the glass. You want the garlic cloves to be somewhat flat, but not pulverized.

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3. Fold the paper towel or cloth up so that you have a small square with the garlic inside. You want all the excess paper towel on one side, leaving two layers of paper towel or cloth over the garlic on the opposite side. Secure the folded edges at the back with a piece of tape.

IMG_2339

4. Rub olive oil liberally over the skin where the poultice is to be applied. This helps the garlic absorb into the body quickly, and also protects the skin from being irritated (garlic is very strong and should never be applied straight to the skin).

5. Run hot tap water in the sink, pass the poultice through, then wring out the excess water. Lay the poultice on the skin, with the thin side of the paper towel in contact with the skin (taped side away from the body). Place a dry cloth over top to keep the warmth in. I usually leave in place for 30 minutes at a time for my children, an hour at a time for me or David. Use your own judgment to decide what’s best for you.

 

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. I cannot give you medical advice and you should always consult with your health care provider. I share what has worked for me and hope that you find it informative and are encouraged to take charge of your own health and make healthy choices.

Weekend Reading

Book Photo source Here are a few things I read this week that I enjoyed.

Food for Thought
  •   Here’s a snippet from this fantastic article on medical studies:

“This array suggested a bigger, underlying dysfunction, and Ioannidis thought he knew what it was. ‘The studies were biased,’ he says. ‘Sometimes they were overtly biased. Sometimes it was difficult to see the bias, but it was there.’ Researchers headed into their studies wanting certain results—and, lo and behold, they were getting them. We think of the scientific process as being objective, rigorous, and even ruthless in separating out what is true from what we merely wish to be true, but in fact it’s easy to manipulate results, even unintentionally or unconsciously. ‘At every step in the process, there is room to distort results, a way to make a stronger claim or to select what is going to be concluded,’ says Ioannidis. ‘There is an intellectual conflict of interest that pressures researchers to find whatever it is that is most likely to get them funded.’ “

Read the rest here.

What do you think? How much do you rely on scientific studies?

Food To Eat
  •   I can’t believe that I just today found this blog! 100 Days of Real Food has quite an interesting history. In 2010 the Leake family went on a 100 day journey to cut out all processed food from their diet. While their original 100 day challenge is over, they’re going strong eating real food and have done other challenges since then, like 100 Days of Real Food on a Budget. I’ve really enjoyed poking around this blog and have bookmarked several recipes to try-the first one will probably be the whole wheat crepes.

 

  •   I made this Crunchy Kale and Coconut bowl  from Joy The Baker this week, and I totally get why she ate this every day for a week. It really is that good!

Garlic

IMG_2320 If you were stranded on a deserted island and could have any one herb with you, what would it be? Many people say cayenne. Some say activated charcoal powder. I say garlic.

Garlic is pungent. I’m not a big fan of it in food even. But when it comes to herbs, illness and my family, garlic is usually the first thing I reach for.

I got started using garlic several years ago out of desperation. See, I can totally deal with a wicked cold just fine. Nasty cough, achy joints, congestion, etc.- I have a bag of herbal and home remedy tricks for that stuff and I can fight it!

But a stomach virus? The thought makes me want to cry. I hate throwing up. I was never really morning sick with either pregnancy, and I am so thankful for that. I am a huge wimp when it comes to puking.

A stomach virus started going around our community a few years ago and I . . . well, I freaked out. I was willing to do just about anything to not catch it! So I crushed a big clove of garlic, put it on a spoon, covered it with raw honey and horked it all down.

I should have eaten first. It’s a bad idea to take raw garlic on an empty stomach. Oh my goodness, the burning!

But I didn’t get sick.

Maybe I just escaped the germs that time, but it sold me on the powers of garlic. I started taking a spoonful anytime I thought I might be coming down with a cold, and many times I completely avoided it.

Since then I’ve learned other ways to use garlic (Most not quite as gross as swallowing a spoonful of raw garlic!). With two small children in the house I use it regularly. But before we get into the how-to of garlic, let’s look at the why.

Garlic: Nature’s Antibiotic

In Practical Herbalism (by Phil Fritchey) I read:

Probably because of the strong sulphury odor associated with it, garlic was given mixed reviews by historical herbalists…Pliny gives an exceedingly long list of complaints, in which it was considered beneficial, and Galen eulogizes it as the rustics’ Theriac, or "Heal-All.” Garlic was an important ingredient in the famous Vinegar of Four Thieves that protected looters that plundered the bodies and homes of Plague victims. In more recent times, garlic has gained the status of one of the few herbs universally recognized as a beneficial healer. Prior to the advent of antibiotics, and during wars when they have been in short supply, garlic preparations were used on wounds to prevent infection. Practical experience and scientific research alike has confirmed its abilities to strengthen immune function, improve circulation, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, quell infections and lower fevers. In laboratory studies, garlic has been shown to have direct anti-microbial actions equivalent to many anti-biotic drugs, but without those drugs’ tendency to create resistant strains of pathogens.

And in The ABC Herbal (by Steven H. Horne) there is an interesting story:

Garlic helps stimulate the flow of blood and lymph, promotes perspiration, expels phlegm and otherwise improves the internal environment to make it unfriendly to harmful micro-organisms.

In fact, a nurse who worked in a hospital growing bacterial cultures told me how she had proven to herself the powerful effect of garlic. She took a petri dish with a very powerful strain of bacteria and set a peeled clove of garlic in the center of the dish. Within two hours, every bacteria in the dish was dead. She told me it took eight hours for the strongest antibiotic the hospital had to kill that same strain of bacteria when the antibiotic was sprayed over the whole plate. That shows you how penetrating the effects of garlic are.

Open any book on herbs and you will most likely find a section singing the praises of garlic as a powerful infection fighter. That, combined with my personal success using garlic, keeps me reaching for it again and again.

Fast and Effective-Garlic On A Spoon

Now this isn’t for the faint of heart or weak of stomach (unless you just really love garlic). But it’s a quick and effective way to get the healing properties of garlic into your system and started working.

-Ingredients-

1 clove garlic, 2 if they’re small Raw honey*

1. Peel garlic, then crush or finely chop. Let sit for 10 minutes to allow the compounds to mix and activate.

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2. While the garlic is sitting, eat a snack or part of a meal. This is important unless you have an iron stomach!

3. Scoop garlic onto a spoon, then cover with raw honey. Swallow it quickly, then chase it down with a glass of water.

IMG_2345

4. Eat a few more bites of food to help settle the garlic, otherwise you’ll be tasting it quite a bit over the next hour.

 

*Honey is the best way I’ve found to help get the garlic down. Spaghetti sauce isn’t too bad either. I’ve heard some people just use juice or even water, but I tried that once and almost didn’t get the garlic down. So I stick with honey!

Notes: To easily peel the garlic, first smash the clove with the bottom of a glass. The skin slips right off after it’s been bruised.

 

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. I cannot give you medical advice and you should always consult with your health care provider. I share what has worked for me and hope that you find it informative and are encouraged to take charge of your own health and make healthy choices.

Drink More Water!

When I think of being dehydrated, I think of someone who is really sick-pale and weak, hooked up to an IV in the hospital, dry and cracking lips, that kind of dehydrated. Or someone crawling through a desert seeing a mirage of a puddle to drink from. Mirage in the Desert Photo source

That’s extreme dehydration though. Many of us are in a constant state of mild dehydration on a regular basis. You might not realize it (since you aren’t hooked up to an IV in the hospital or crawling through a desert), but there are many indicators that your body needs water before you reach extreme dehydration.

  • Dry skin-You might think that it’s normal to have dry skin, but what if you just need water?
  • Constipation-Obviously a bad diet is a big cause of constipation, but even with poor eating, a well hydrated person should still have semi-regular bowel movements.
  • Infrequent pottying-Not peeing for 3 hours for infants and 8 hours for older children and adults can be a symptom of dehydration.
  • Headache-The first thing I do if I get a headache is drink a big glass of water. Many times that takes care of it!
  • Thirst-Did you know that by the time you feel thirsty you’re already a little dehydrated?
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness-While many things can make you feel lightheaded, needing water is one of them.
  • Sleepiness-Sometimes being tired and sleepy is just your body asking for some water.
  • Dark yellow or amber colored urine-If you’re taking a multi-vitamin your pee might be bright yellow-green, but a dark yellow urine is a sign of dehydration.
  • Dry or sticky mouth-Drink more water!

Source

How much is enough?

So how much should we be drinking on a regular basis? This Mayo Clinic article says,

“So how much fluid does the average, healthy adult living in a temperate climate need? The Institute of Medicine determined that an adequate intake (AI) for men is roughly 3 liters (about 13 cups) of total beverages a day. The AI for women is 2.2 liters (about 9 cups) of total beverages a day. “

This is the adequate intake, not the ideal, which can vary from person to person. I know that I feel my best when I’m drinking about ten 12oz. glasses of water a day, which is a little less than a gallon (I am nursing full time, so I probably need more than many people). I’ve heard other rules of thumb, like the eight 8oz. glasses by 8pm rule, or to drink half your body weight in ounces of water each day. They’re good reference points, but I think it’s better to go by how your body feels and make sure you’re drinking enough to function at your best. (28/365) Glass of water Photo source

How do you get it all in?

The number one thing that helps me drink enough each day is to start early. I roll out of bed, put my contacts in and then head straight to the kitchen and drink a big glass of water. I don’t count that in my daily intake though-that’s just to balance out the dehydrating effect of the cup of coffee I drink! I try to drink two big glasses before breakfast, 5 glasses total before lunch, then another 5 in the afternoon/evening.

It doesn’t have to be just water. There are many different options for healthy hydration:

  • Water with fruit added-Lemon and lime are the most popular, but I prefer frozen raspberries.
  • Kombucha-I try to keep a big jar in our refrigerator. Sometimes you just need something fizzy, right?!
  • Juice-We don’t do much juice (it does have a lot of sugar, even though it’s natural), but occasionally we like some natural, unfiltered apple or grape juice.
  • Herbal tea-I make a small pitcher of red raspberry leaf tea every morning and Jonathan and I drink that throughout the day. You can use loose leaf herbs to make any blend you like, but I buy red raspberry leaf tea bags because the convenience helps me stick with making it regularly.
  • Milk-While I try to stay away from pasteurized milk, raw cow, goat, nut or seed milk can be a great change of pace to help keep you hydrated. Homemade eggnog totally counts. It does.
  • Broth-Homemade bone broth can be a great way to keep you drinking. A hot mug of chicken or beef broth is a great way to relax on a cold afternoon (or morning or evening!), and it’s super nourishing-and frugal!
  • ACV drink-Stir 1 teaspoon each raw apple cider vinegar and raw honey into an 8 oz. glass of water. I drink this in the afternoons for a little energy boost to get me through that drowsy time when I just want to take a nap. For an iron boost, try using blackstrap molasses instead of honey.

Captain Obvious would like to state here that sugary sodas do not count toward fluid intake. Also, caffeinated beverages and alcohol are dehydrating, so I make myself drink an extra glass for each caffeinated drink I have (which is usually just my morning cup of coffee. Ok, sometimes there’s an afternoon cup).

With all these healthy options there is no reason to ever be bored while trying to drink enough. Changing what I’m drinking throughout the day keeps me chugging the fluids and ensures I get my 3-4 quarts in each day.

How much water do you drink each day? Do you feel like you’re getting enough? What do you do to remind yourself to drink more water?

Magic Bathroom Cleaner

Dead Duck This poor little ducky died because he was inhaling toxic bathroom cleaner fumes. Just kidding.|Photo source

 

I cook a lot from scratch. I have other ladies say to me all the time, “I don’t know how you do it! With two little kids I could never cook all that. I just don’t have time to cook all that you do!”

Today I’m going to tell you my secret! Ready?

My house is a mess. Seriously.

No one can do it all. Balancing relationships, housework, work responsibilities and other commitments is something I think it’s safe to say we all struggle with at times. Prioritizing is key to finding that balance, and in our home housework is last on the list. But just like every other family, our house gets dirty too! I’m pretty good about wiping down the bathroom sink and toilet, and I do sweep just about every day.

But I hate. Cleaning. The bathtub. So I put it off, and then I end up using store-bought chemical tub cleaners to get it clean, plus it takes a lot of elbow grease! I’ve accepted the fact that I’m never going to be one of those clean-the-tub-every-day women, but I wanted, no, needed to find a more natural solution for cleaning my tub. Jonathan usually stands in the bathroom and chatters while I’m cleaning, and the thought of him inhaling all those nasty chemicals really freaks me out.

Katie at Kitchen Stewardship writes regularly about baby steps she’s taking toward healthier cooking and a greener life and offers suggestions on how we can all do the same (LOVE her blog!). Through Katie I found the Crunchy Betty blog and man, it has some fun recipes! Hint: try the Mocha Frappucino Face Mask!

Leslie at Crunchy Betty has a recipe for a natural bathtub cleaner and it works amazingly well! I’ve tried just baking soda and it didn’t do diddly squat to clean the tub, but this mixture is super effective! It has no harsh chemicals, is inexpensive to make, SO easy to use, and I don’t worry about my two year old standing in the bathroom chatting my ear off while I clean the tub, because it has no scary chemical fumes.

After I cleaned the tub I used a little of this cleaner to scrub down the sink and counter, and it even worked well on the mirror. I just dabbed a little of the mixture on my sponge, then rubbed lightly and wiped it off with a paper towel.

Magic Bathroom Cleaner

-Ingredients-

1/2 C. baking soda

1/2 C. washing soda

1/2 C. liquid dish soap*

25 drops tea tree essential oil

10 drops lemon essential oil

10 drops peppermint essential oil

1. Stir together baking soda, washing soda and dish soap. Add essential oils and mix to combine. That’s it!

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*Crunchy Betty’s recipe calls for liquid castille soap but I didn’t have any. I just used the dish soap I had on hand and it worked great.

Notes: The original recipe also listed an optional 2 T. white vinegar in the ingredients but I didn’t use it.

Yield: This made about 1 1/2 C. of cleaner, which was enough to clean my super dirty bathtub, counter and sink, and there’s enough left to clean the whole bathroom again.

Adapted from Crunchy Betty