Monday, March 25, 2013

Our "Cut-the-Crap" Lifestyle...First Steps

“Real Food”.  “Paleo”.  “Crunchy”.  If you look at the search engine history on my laptop, you’ll find a lot of websites containing those terms.  Our family is cutting out a lot of chemical, artificial, processed what-have-you items in our lives.  I’ve been trying to figure out exactly what category we fit into.

What I found was that we fit into exactly 0 of these boxes.  I am not interested in “Paleo” diets - I like my carbs and have no reason to give them up (gluten allergies, etc.).  “Real Food” is closer to what I’m looking for, and maybe will be a long-term goal, but I’m not ready to jump into the all organic realm.  Not that the idea is bad, but the price is pretty out there for something with no real regulation.  Plus, locally-grown meats are not readily available where I shop.  I’m not an environmentalist, so “Crunchy” doesn’t fit either.  So, what is this new lifestyle we are working towards?  “Chemical Free” SEEMS to fit based on the websites you’ll find if you look it up, but let’s be honest...There are chemicals in EVERYTHING!!!  And not all “chemicals” are dangerous.  (From Chemical - a substance produced by or used in a chemical process)  Water is, by definition, a chemical compound.  Want to argue that water is dangerous for you?  Go ahead.  I’m not listening.

I could go on...”Unprocessed”, “Natural”, etc.  Nothing really fits.  So, I’m making my own title (I one seems to have a claim on it, anyway).  This is the start of our “Cut-the-Crap Lifestyle”.  It’s going to be a gradual process (I don’t believe in waste, so we have to use up stuff we have on hand, but we don’t have to replenish it).  I’m also going to concentrate on particular areas for now, and maybe add more later.

First, WHY?  I’m not an environmentalist.  Don’t get me wrong.  I love God’s Creation.  I’m just not a Nature Nut.  I’m also not an Alarmist - “Chemicals are going to kill us!”  Nope.  Not me.  I’m doing this for health reasons.  I suffer from a couple of chronic, related health issues.  Specifically Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (and I don’t mean “I have 3 kids and am always tired”.  The actual medical condition.) and Neurocardiogenic Syncope.  {NOTE: It's been pointed out that this links to an article on Vasovagal Syncope - They are the same thing.  Neurocardiogenic is just a more descriptive term.)  There aren’t cures for either of these and what symptomatic treatments there are have nasty side-effects.  At one point, a chiropractor suggested I cut out canned foods completely for a while.  I was skeptical at first, but it did help!  Of course, that makes cooking and shopping a little more time-consuming (at least at first), and after a while I got lazy and gave up.  Lately, though, I’ve been having a really bad round of fatigue.  So, I’m trying again.

Now onto the WHAT.  We are starting in three areas: food, personal hygiene, and household cleaners.  

Food: This is probably the hardest of the three, but the most important to me.  Honestly, compared to a lot of people I know, we don’t eat that much processed foods.  But we do eat some.  So, starting this week, I’m looking for substitutes.  For example, yesterday I made Egg Salad.  One of the ingredients in the egg salad is Miracle Whip (ick).  Not only is Miracle Whip full of preservatives, I just don’t like it.  Plus, we are almost out.  So, I made this copy-cat recipe this morning.  (Sorry for the bad picture...)  It took literally 5 minutes, tastes MUCH better, and was all ingredients I have on hand!  I’m also replacing the chili sauce for tonight’s stir-fry with a homemade version.  So, we’re off to a good start!  

Personal Hygiene:  Honestly, this is the area that kind of scares me.  Oh, I’m good with making soaps and shampoos.  But I’m kind of leery of the homemade deodorant and toothpaste arena.  We’ll have to see.  That may not ever happen.  I made my shampoo this week.  It’s a blend of different recipes I found on the internet and my own scent concoction - Chamomile and Citrus.  I really like it.  My hair has oodles more natural volume and isn’t dry and static-y.  Plus it just smells yummy!  (I made my own label, too.  Sorry, I’m not posting the recipe right now.  A couple people have asked me if I’d consider selling it, and I’d like to keep the recipe secret until I decide.)

Cleaners: As we run out of things, I’ll start making detergents, cleaners, and air fresheners.  I think laundry detergent will be the first, maybe as soon as next week.

I’m excited to try this journey.  Hopefully I’ll start seeing some results in my energy level and blood pressure soon.  I’ll keep you posted!!


  1. Several years ago I switched over to crystal deodorant in an effort to move to more natural products. There's some scary stuff in the antiperspirants, plus, God made our bodies to sweat for a reason (at least, in my mind). The solid lasts for years, and it works like a charm - to the point where if you miss a day, you still won't have body odor.

  2. I'm with Becky I started using crystal deodorant too. I really like it and the fact that I am still going with the one I purchased 2 years ago is great too.

  3. Thanks, Ladies! I had never even heard of Crystal until you mentioned it. It looks like a great alternative. I've added it to my shopping list for next week. I've heard of people going the "all natural" (i.e. make-your-own) route with deodorant, and I just can't do it. I have a mental block there, I guess! :) I'll give this a try, though!