Aug 252013
 

So, let’s talk potty.

Not quite the usual topic of conversation around here, eh?

But eating healthy, living healthy, being healthy, and following God’s natural plan and order — that’s normal stuff.

So.. it turns out that our anatomy is designed to squat to eliminate.

This should come as no big surprise there to anyone who has had any exposure to natural childbirth; squatting is the best way to allow that baby to get out, too.

This was brought to mind for me again recently by Mommypotamus’ excellent article on pelvic floor issues and incontinence, Why You Need to Pee in the Shower.

But our “western civilization” toilets, for some reason, have been designed in a different position altogether. And it’s causing us to struggle with constipation, hemorrhoids, and a host of other complaints.

Until now, your only choice was pretty much to remove your toilet and create a squatting toilet similar to those common in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and some parts of Latin America.

But now, there’s a great, inexpensive, non-home-damaging option! (Click the graphic to visit their website)

Want a visual on the anatomical issues (non-graphic, in all senses of the word)? Check out Squatty Potty’s video:

Visit Squatty Potty to find out more, or order yours.

Posts may contain affiliate links. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link your costs will be the same but As For My House will receive a small commission. This helps cover some of the costs for this site. We appreciate your support.

Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe may be good products/services for my readers.

I disclose this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Mar 292012
 

What, you don’t think this is a fitness blog??

Okay, it’s not. But (a) I do care about your health and well-being, and (b) as a former fitness model and personal trainer, I do have some idea what I’m talking about in this area.

With that out of the way, let me tell you about the wonderful book that I recently had the opportunity to review (and you now have the opportunity to win!):

Yes, it’s Day THREE of the As For My House Holy Week Giveaway Bonanza!

What? A bunch of blog giveaways aren’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think of “holy” or “Easter”?

I know… But I wanted to share my joy with you at this time of year, and share gifts in honor of the Greatest Gift of All that Christ gave us.

There will be five giveaways, each lasting for a week, leading up to Easter Sunday.

As you may not know, if you haven’t delved into the murky “about us” back-story posted here somewhere, I used to be a fitness model and personal trainer. I was also very involved in mentoring women on their fitness journey, through various online communities which sprung up around the “Body for Life Physique Transformation Challenge”.

I stopped working as a trainer because of time conflicts with my family responsibilities, and of course I would not compete these days due to the immodest apparel and attitudes involved. But none of that means that I think being in shape is a bad idea!

For a long time, the book and concept of Body for Life has been the defining product out there, in my opinion. It doesn’t have any fads, or “magic pill” solutions – just a sensible, healthy eating and exercise plan. It was the book I’d recommend to anyone who talked about getting in shape.

Well, the time has come.

There’s a new kid in town, and he’s taking over the “King of the Hill” spot!

Dustin’s book is without question the best resource out there for a woman (or anyone!) looking to get in shape. It combines a common-sense approach to healthy eating and exercise, with all the latest research available to improve the effectiveness of your diet and training.

There is an emphasis on real, wholesome food over “supplements” and “replacements”, which is very important to me (and in fact I think this is the one area in which he might have gone even further).

Strength training is combined with highly efficient “burst training” cardio – no boring hours on the stairmaster here! Dustin also addresses ways to strengthen your body with various physical limitations, and of course busts all the still-too-common myths about strength training for women.

A nice addition to the book is the success stories interspersed throughout. Real women, sharing their real challenges and journeys – and triumphs. A few look like bikini calendar girls, but most of them do not – there is probably someone in the book with whom nearly every reader can identify.

There’s also more information, and a newsletter, available on the Dustin Maher Fitness website, as well as community on the Fit Moms for Life and I Love Being a Mom Facebook pages.

FIVE STARS. This is a book that every woman interested in being more healthy, energetic, and “in shape” should read. Absolutely.

And now you can win a copy of Fit Moms for Life! Enter below…

I received a copy of the book for review purposes. I was not compensated in any way for this review. This review has not been approved or edited by anyone. Fit Moms for Life is providing the prize for this giveaway, shipped directly to the winner.
I was “disclosing” before it was cool. See my Review Policy for the full scoop.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Jul 072011
 


Read about the beginning of our natural deodorant adventure HERE.

Looking at the date I first wrote about natural deodorant made me realize that it’s been SIX MONTHS now. There have been several interesting developments that I wanted to share with you – at least if you consider anything about deodorant interesting!

One of the first things was giving up on the store-bought deodorant stick dispenser.

Fist of all, it’s not made for that kind of use. After a refill or two, the pusher-upper stopped pushing – the threads had stripped.

Secondly, it’s not really, really suited for this product. Your “Secret” doesn’t turn to liquid if it gets a little warm in your bathroom…

My first through was that it was “a bother” to scoop some of the mixture out with my fingers and smear it on my underarms. After all, then I also had to wash off my hand.

Wow, really?

I had no idea I was that much of a prima donna!

Then I ran across a great quote. Someone shared on Facebook, so I’m not sure this is an exact quote, and I have no source… But I like it!

Simple living does not mean removing all complexities.
It means focusing your energy on the complexities that matter.

No, mixing up the deodorant is not quite as simple as buying a tube of that stuff at the store.

No, applying it turns out not to be as simple as swiping some on from that tube.

But… it’s better. It’s more wholesome. It even is, in the grand scheme of life, a more simple – straightforward – product.

So, I continue.

And Wolf got on the bandwagon, as well, with trepidation.

He has used deodorant spray for many years, because stick deodorant clogged his pores and caused under-arm irritation.

Besides, he hates coconut. I don’t say “hate” much… I think it applies here.

The verdict?

A new convert!

He is not bothered by the scent. He does not have irritation or clogged pores. And apparently it’s getting the job done.

Oh, and he totally agrees with my rambling thoughts on the “complexity” of creating and applying it. ;)

Jan 032011
 

I actually started on the road to naturalizing my deodorant even before my adventures with the No Shampoo Method, so I thought it was about time I shared!

Like my friend Lisa Stone, I started with simply dampening my armpit and using baking soda. I confess I was surprised – it worked really well!

The only immediately drawback was that it was somewhat messy (baking soda dust all over the bathroom).

As time went on, I also got some irritation starting (especially on one side). I guess it is a little harsh – we use it as a scouring agent in cleaning, after all!

So I decided to jump in with both feet and try the homemade deodorant so perfectly explained and illustrated over at Kitchen Stewardship (her photo). There’s another great tutorial at Passionate Homemaking.

The recipe is simply this:

  • 6-8 Tbsp Coconut oil (cooled to a solid)
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch (or arrowroot powder)

You just mix this up, then fill an old commercial deodorant container, and you’re all set!

This recipe filled my old “Secret” tube, with enough left (stored in a Tupperware in the refrigerator) to fill it probably twice more.

I have been using this preparation for a while now, and I am very pleased with the results.

As a deodorant, it works beautifully. And since switching over from plain baking soda, I have not had any skin irritation.

Although solid when cool, the mixture is a little more gooey than the recipes seem to indicate when I apply it, so I think I probably need to use less oil and/or more cornstarch next time. I’ll try adding more cornstarch to the leftover mixture before the next refill. (Obviously it is not a problem that has stopped me from using the mixture as is…)

Wolf dislikes coconut a lot, so I’m not sure if he’ll be willing to use this. It doesn’t leave you smelling tropical all day, but it does have a scent (which I actually like a lot!) when you are putting it on.

We could try another oil, but coconut has various properties that make it a superior choice (such as being antibacterial).

I’ll keep you posted…

Dec 282010
 

My decision to move away from commercial shampoo products was based, as most things are, on a complex range of factors…

  • Toxic chemicals used in the commercial products
  • Desire to be able to live a more simple life
  • Trying to use products with a more “green” footprint, including production, as well as less disposable packaging
  • Trying to get back to the simple goodness of the things God created for us
  • Frugal desire to avoid the high cost of the store-bought solutions

As I mentioned in my post on the No Shampoo Method e-Book, I dove right in and started experimenting on myself after reading a number of blog posts and articles.

Being a little squeamish of using eggs, I started with the seemingly universal “shampoo” – baking soda.

I poured some into my hand, mixed in enough water to make a paste, and scrubbed it in.

It seemed to work well enough. But it didn’t help my dry scalp, and it left my hair more dry and unpleasant than usual.

I figured I needed conditioner, but was frankly hesitant about the smell of vinegar, which seemed to be what most people use. Heck, I couldn’t even imagine how it could be a “conditioner”!

After perusing the No Shampoo Method e-Book, I got a better handle on some method variations.

First, I took my trusty Tupperware shaker cup, put some baking soda in the bottom, and added about a cup of warm water. Shaken up, this was a terrific shampoo that used much less baking soda.

Then I rinsed out the cup, added about 1/2 c. of apple cider vinegar, and filled to 2 cups with water. Voila, conditioning rinse!

I also found a great article about many uses for apple cider vinegar in hair care on a blog called Sweet Additions (about which I know nothing else).

This was a winner!

My hair feels silky soft, my scalp seems to be normalizing and balancing out, and best of all – once dry even my husband couldn’t detect a vinegar smell in my hair! (He has a very sensitive nose, and I asked him to sniff my hair without giving him any clue as to why I was asking).

I am hoping that with continuing use I will see even more improvement in my scalp.

Essential Oils are the next step. They can both add a pleasant fragrance, and also provide their own beneficial effects…

Reminder: Until Jan. 6, you can enter to win a copy of the No Shampoo Method e-Book, just by clicking over and leaving a comment!

Dec 232010
 

Recently, I have been inspired to carry my “simplifying” and “greening” past using vinegar and baking soda as cleaning products, and into the realm of personal care.

After reading about Natural Haircare on A Pondering Heart, and the No Shampoo Method on Feelin’ Feminine, I decided that was a good place to start.

Being me, I did a bunch of Internet searches, read a lot of articles, and got a lot of conflicting advice and recommendations.

I’ve been dabbling with some various things over last few weeks, but I was delighted to hear the announcement that Feelin’ Feminine has put together a brand new No Shampoo E-Book!

I was delighted to receive a pre-release copy of the e-Book for review, and was delighted by it for a variety of reasons.

  • The style is warm and friendly, with multiple authors giving their own unique voice and viewpoint
  • There is a terrific accumulation of information – about hair, and caring for your hair, as well as several ideas and “recipes” for substitutes for commercial shampoo, conditioner, and styling products
  • Many “testimonials” tell real-life experiences of different people, in different places, with different issues
  • The book is well written and easy-to-read, and is graphically designed and presented in a fun and enjoyable style. (So much nicer than so many straight-text e-books out there!)
  • A special section give advice on using essential oils. Not only can you smell great, but they will actually help with various hair issues!

In short, although most of this information is doubtless “out there” for you to find yourself, I think this book is well worth the inexpensive price, to have all the information gathered, organized, and at your fingertips.

BUY IT!

Order it directly from Feelin’ Feminine (only $8.99!)

WIN IT!

One lucky As For My House reader will win their own copy of the No Shampoo Method E-Book!

Make sure to leave your email address with each comment. (Used only to contact the winner. If your email is entered in the form it will be saved for me but not displayed).

1. Leave a comment here and sharing a funny hair story!! Okay, or just tell me why you’d like this book.

Extra Entries (leave separate comments for each).

Once you have completed #1, you can earn additional entries by doing any or all of the following.

2. Become a Facebook Fan of Feelin’ Feminine.

3. Subscribe to As For My House in your favorite feed reader, or by email. (Current subscribers count, too!)

4. and 5. Post this giveaway to your Facebook wall (leave your Facebook name), or Tweet about it (and leave the link)! Each may be done daily for extra entries.

6. Enter any of the other giveaways posted here, or over at Life on the Road, and comment back here telling me which one.

7. Leave a (reasonable) comment on any non-giveaway post, and comment back here letting me know which one(s).

In additon to these, there are MANY more ways to earn extra entries. You know, all the usual stuff like sharing on Facebook, Tweeting, and so on? Just click over to our Giveaway Policy page for all the details!

This giveaway ends 1/6/2011 at 11:59pm (Central), or more likely some time the following morning when I log in again.

The winner will be chosen using random.org and announced on the blog, as well as contacted by email. Winner must respond within 48 hours, or a new winner will be selected.

I received a draft copy of this e-Book free from Feelin’ Feminine; I was not compensated in any other way for this review. This review has not been approved or edited by anyone.
I was “disclosing” before it was cool. See my Review Policy for the full scoop.

** Comments are now closed. Look for the winner to be announced soon in a separate post! **