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Mayonnaise’s Dirty Little Secret – And Some Simple Solutions!


Transitioning to a natural lifestyle is a slow journey. If you stand at the very beginning, living a ‘normal’ American lifestyle, then hearing that we make almost everything in our house – edible and otherwise – from scratch is stinkin’ intimidating. (And probably pretty weird to boot!)


Trust me, it would have intimidated me a few years ago. But we didn’t go from ‘normal’ to ‘crazy/crunchy’ overnight. ; ) 
We literally took it one baby step at a time. And that’s what we recommend you do too. Try the DIYs and swaps that work for your family, and let the rest go for now. Every little change you make leaves you in a better, healthier place than before. Look at each step as a success, not a demand for more!


That being said, mayonnaise was one of our family’s holdouts FOREVER. Sure, we bought the ‘better(ish)’ stuff (Duke’s to be precise). But we all knew it was junk! Trouble was, in years past, truly healthier mayonnaise was ridiculously expensive, and making our own seemed overly gourmet and impractical.

And, unfortunately, we really like our mayo… so giving it up was not exactly chosen. Homemade coleslaw, egg salad, sandwiches, dill dips, etc. That lovely jar of Duke’s contributed to them all. And time after time, the main ingredient screamed at me: SOYBEAN OIL! Ugh.


If you aren’t familiar with why that made me cringe, let me help…


Personally, I think soybean oil is the scariest food (that is still in a semi-recognizable form and isn’t just toxic chemical additives…) people keep consuming! Whether they know they are or not…

For starters, it’s almost always GMO. It is a heavily-sprayed crop, laden with pesticides.
BUT, one of the scariest problems is that it is loaded with phytoestrogens that mimic estrogen in our bodies, disrupting healthy hormone function. This can result in thyroid diseases, autoimmune issues, endocrine disorders, infertility, and to be honest, a lot more health issues!

Seriously, I cannot stress enough the dangers of consuming soy! And it isn’t just associated with a small risk of developing some obscure disease. It is consistently linked with some serious health issues and a main culprit in our food supply.

*Note: fermented organic soy (tamari soy sauce, etc) is a somewhat different story. Maybe more on that another time.


SO, now that we’ve established soy’s villainy, let me tell you the sad sad truth. Basically any mayonnaise that you can buy in stores (aside from a few specialty exceptions) is made with soybean oil. Even ones advertised as ‘made with olive oil’. Don’t let them fool you! Sure there’s some olive oil in there…but it’s alongside that soybean oil! Yep! : )


As I said, there are a few mayo options out there that are pretty healthy and safe, but they do cost significantly more, in my opinion.


****In case you I’ve managed to scare you away from soybean oil, but you aren’t quite up for making your own, here are links to a couple good options:****


Wilderness Family Naturals Mayonnaise – very clean ingredients and good sourcing. The taste is a little different but good. We’ve bought this one in the past!

Chosen Foods Coconut Oil Mayonnaise – the ingredients look clean. Not sure of the sourcing, but it looks like a good compromise of price and quality.

Keep in mind, that you HAVE to read the ingredients of everything you buy! Don’t just trust it because it says ‘made with olive oil’ or ‘natural’.


BUTTTTT, of course we make our own! It really is super easy once you’ve done it a couple times. Now, I do it from memory and can whip up a batch in no time at all! And if you have a stick/immersion blender, it is even faster!
My immersion blender was super affordable and definitely changed my culinary life. Sauces, mayo, gummies, ice cream. Basically anything you want to blend up well, you can just leave in the pot or bowl and stick the blender in! It’s wonderful and easy to clean!

But I digress.


Without further ado…



1 cup coconut, olive, or avocado oil (or any combo of the 3). Note, if you use coconut oil, it will harden when refrigerated. You can just set it out at room temp and let it thaw, but it can be inconvenient if you don’t know!
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp raw honey (or other sweetener)
1 tsp mustard
1/2 tsp salt
3 pastured (preferably locally farmed) egg yolks

Directions for stick blender users:

Put all ingredients except oil in a narrow (maybe 3 or 4 inch diameter) jar or glass. Pour room temperature oil on top of the ingredients. Once all the ingredients settle out in their nice little layers, stick the blender down in the jar, all the way to the bottom. Once it is on the bottom of the container, turn it on. It should start making a thicker, whitish mixture on the bottom inch or two of the jar. Once it starts doing this, you can slowly lift the stick blender off the bottom of the jar, incorporating more oil into the whitish mixture. Continue to do this slowly until it is all mixed together and voila! Mayo!*

You can serve immediately, or add 1 tbsp whey and leave it on the counter for 1 hr before sticking it in the fridge (this ferments it a bit and helps it last longer in the fridge). Or, you can just stick in the fridge to have on hand. It should last a week or two, depending on how old your eggs are.


Directions for food processor/blender users:

Put all ingredients except oil in the food processor or blender. Turn it on and blend well. With it still running, SLOWLY drizzle the oil, bit by bit into the mixture. Your goal here is to emulsify the oil into the mayonnaise, but if you go too fast, it will just be an oily mess. It should thicken and turn whitish as you go. Continue doing this very slowly until it is all incorporated. Don’t make the same mistake I have, and get impatient. I promise, if you dump the rest of the oil in faster, it WILL mess it up!

You can serve immediately, or add 1 tbsp whey and leave it on the counter for 1 hr before sticking it in the fridge (this ferments it a bit and helps it last longer in the fridge). Or, you can just stick in the fridge to have on hand. It should last a week or two, depending on how old your eggs are.

See how the oil and the other ingredients are separate but are starting to meld nicely? The thickish white stuff on the bottom is a good sign!

Yes, I’m a messy chef…haha. But see how nice and thick the mayo is! It has that lovely shine to it too! Enjoy!

*Disclaimer. There is the occasional time that my mayo ‘breaks’ (aka…is a separated, oily mess). I have yet to figure out why. I do know it is critical to be patient in the blending and to make sure that the oil is room temp (not cool/solidified or hot). If this happens to you, don’t let it discourage you! Trust me! It is about a 1 in 10 for me, if that. And if you figure out why it happens, please comment and tell me! I’m still figuring it out…haha.

The good news is you don’t have to throw it out. We use it for casseroles, cole slaw, or things where it’s more about the flavor than the texture!





*This post contains affiliate links. We will never link to products we don’t fully believe in and endorse.

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DIY Homemade Sunscreen – Plus, Tips to Skip the Sunburn this Summer!


In the spirit of summertime, and keeping with my recent post on hydration and electrolyte drinks, we’re going to be tackling another summertime staple.


The most controversial of all…. SUNSCREEN!


It seems that there are basically two camps when it comes to this gooey white slathering:

Camp Number One: Those who won’t touch it and would prefer to cook themselves into a crispy crunchy potato chip first.

Camp Number Two: Those who, whether they enjoy its greasiness or not, endure it for fear of skin cancer and feeling like a molting lizard for a week.


What if I told you that I stand in Camp Number Three? What camp is that, you ask? You guessed it… the DIY camp! Yes, of course you can make your own, effective, non-toxic sunscreen. It’s easy, affordable, and safe. Not persuaded yet? Let me explain why my camp (Number Three) beats the other two hands down!


So, nobody likes a sunburn. I don’t burn easily at all, but occasionally, there are those times that I’m in the sun long enough to get lightly toasted. And there are other people (and babies!) who can get pink after just a short jaunt in the sun. No matter what your views on the causes of skin cancer and such, I think we all can agree that burning your skin is not healthy – or fun. So if you are in Camp Number One, that leaves you with few options. Either hide from the sun (not so easy or fun in the summertime), which leaves you vitamin D deficient and bored, or cover your skin carefully with hats, long sleeves, etc.


Maybe I’m intolerant, but that sounds ridiculously uncomfortable. Sun is already hot, without adding extra clothing. Just saying.


Then there’s Camp Number Two. Their sunscreen slathering does give more freedom for fun, but at what cost? Do our attempts to protect ourselves and our children end up doing the opposite? To remind you of what I’ve said before: what we put on our skin can affect us more than what we eat, because our liver is not able to filter out the toxins for us before they infiltrate our body.
Just another warning: sunscreen often gives a false sense of safety, making people think they can stay in the sun longer than their skin will actually tolerate, leaving them still burnt in the end. So no matter what sunscreen you use, be careful!


Ok, so to clarify things, there are two types of active ingredients in sunscreens: chemical (think Oxybenzone and Octinoxate, and many other hard-to-pronounce ones…) and mineral (titanium dioxide and zinc oxide). Let me start by tackling the chemical ones.

Oxybenzone is found in almost 70% of non-mineral-based sunscreens on the market. It is a chemical that disrupts hormones and can cause skin sensitivities. It is associated with endometriosis and mimics estrogen in the body.

Another popular active ingredient in sunscreens is Octinoxate (Octylmethoxycinnamate). This chemical also disrupts hormones and causes skin sensitivities. It affects the thyroid and reproductive system and was found in mothers’ milk in laboratory studies. This means that it not only penetrates the skin and becomes systemic, but it can also harm a baby if the mother applies it to her skin.

These are just a couple of the many dangerous active ingredients found in sunscreens. Then, if you add in the inactive ingredients, it frankly is just alarming. The preservative, methylisothiazolinone, or MI, causes skin sensitivities, has been named allergen of the year by the American Contact Dermatitis Society, and is deemed unsafe by European Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety. Retinyl palmitate is a known skin cancer hazard. I’ll spare you the laundry list of other active and inactive ingredients that all can cause harm in one way or another. I think you get the idea!

Feeling alarmed yet?

Here’s what we recommend:


First of all, eat a healthy diet high in antioxidants and vitamin c (Baobab powder or Camu Camu is a great source!). This helps prevent oxidative damage that increases your risk of skin cancer. Seriously, you can help protect your skin from the inside out.


Secondly, be aware of how long you’re in the sun. Even with sunscreen, you can crispify yourself.


But lastly, use a natural, homemade sunscreen, which is what this post is mostly about anyway! So you have a few options here. If you’re a super purist, you can just use a blend of natural oils that have natural SPF. Or, if you want higher SPF, you can add zinc oxide to this blend. Zinc oxide is generally considered harmless and is the active ingredient in most natural sunscreens. However, in the name of full disclosure, it is still generated in a lab and there are not a lot of studies on it to date.

Still, if you’re looking for good SPF, it is definitely your least toxic option. So what we’ll do is post the sunscreen recipes below, with zinc oxide as optional, and you can make your own decision. : )

OR, if you just aren’t up for making your own yet, Badger Balm is a pretty good option as well!


OK, so since we like to give you guys options, we’re offering two different recipes for you to choose from! The first one is our recipe of choice, but it has more ingredients. The second one works also, but has less ingredients and may be a good starting point for those of you not fully ready to dive headlong in this venture! haha.


SUNSCREEN RECIPE #1 (Favorite but more complex):



¼ cup coconut oil SPF 6
¼ cup shea butter SPF 6
2 tbs Beeswax (pellets or shaved) to help make it waterproof

Slowly on low temperature warm the above ingredients until melted then remove from heat and cool a little


3 tbs zinc (optional) SPF 12-14
3 tbs almond oil SPF 5
2 tbs. avocado oil SPF 6
1 tbs. jojoba oil SPF 2
1 tsp red raspberry oil SPF 25
15 drops carrot seed essential oil SPF 35
8 drops lavender essential oil SPF 6

Mix well and put in the refrigerator for about 15-30 mins until it starts to thicken some
Take out and mix well with a mixer so it is mixed well and pour into your container




½ cup coconut oil or shea butter (or 1/2 of each) SPF 12
2 tbs Beeswax (pellets or shaved) to help make it waterproof

Slowly on low temperature warm the above ingredients until melted then remove from heat and cool a little

3 tbs zinc (optional, though very recommended in this version) SPF 12-14
6 tbs. almond or avocado oil SPF 10

Mix well and put in the refrigerator for about 15-30 mins until it starts to thicken some
Take out and mix well with a mixer so it is mixed well and pour into your container

****Red raspberry, Carrot and Lavender Essential Oils are all optional but give greater SPF


Either recipe: reapply about every 2-3 hours or more often if being rubbed a lot in the water. If you don’t use beeswax, reapply after being in the water every time.
You can up your zinc for more SPF – just be sure not to use nano zinc.






*This post contains affiliate links. We will never link to products we don’t fully believe in and endorse.

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Super Simple Swapouts! Dishwasher Detergent Edition!

When I think of ways to detox my home, dishwasher detergent isn’t the first one that comes to mind. It actually took me a little while on my journey to think of it as a potential concern. But, it does affect you, and is a super cheap and easy swap out. If you’re looking for a simple baby step in the world of crunchy DIY, here it is!


Think about after your dishwasher runs (or while it is still running!). It is a steamy cloud of ‘fresh’ detergenty smell. So, not only are you inhaling whatever it is made of, but there’s bound to be at least some residue on your dishes. As I said, not a huge health crisis, but still not the best for you.

Most detergents actually contain highly concentrated levels of chlorine – so toxic that they can be deadly if swallowed in large amounts. There are also multiple hormone disruptors and carcinogens. You know, the usual gunk that gets thrown in most conventional household products. Yet, we use it to wash the dishes we eat off of, and over time, it can build up on them. Then, we are consuming this toxin…every day! Yuck!
Not to mention, the swap we’re offering today is not just healthier, but more economical as well.

I know many DIY and healthy dishwasher detergent recipes call for multiple ingredients and more complex concoctions, but we’ve tried it multiple ways and found this to work just as well, if not better. It’s also cheaper, safer, and simpler! No prep required!


This super simple swap out is just 2 ingredients! Washing soda and citric acid.

All you do is fill the prewash compartment on your dishwasher with washing soda and your secondary wash compartment (the one that flips open during the wash cycle) with citric acid. If your prewash compartment is small, or just doesn’t exist, shake a few tablespoons of washing soda in your dishwasher before starting it. I (Amberlyn) honestly don’t measure it that precisely…just eyeball it. Mama (Sheila) has measurements nicely written on the lid of the containers that she stores the two in and measuring utensils all conveniently inside. So, whichever floats your household’s boat! : )

dishwashing detergent collage
Now, about these two ingredients…


Washing soda is usually manufactured by Arm and Hammer and can be bought at Walmart or ordered online here or here. Or, it is also known as soda ash and can be bought in bulk at a pool store or ordered online here.

Citric acid can be food grade or industrial grade, since you aren’t eating it. But the cheapest option I’ve found is here.

Also, adding vinegar to the rinse compartment (if you have one) helps greatly with getting your dishes cleaner.

*Optional: I add a few drops of a citrus essential oil to the washing soda to help get the dishes extra clean. Plus, it smells nice! : )






*This post contains affiliate links. We will never link to products we don’t fully believe in and endorse.

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Super Simple Swapouts! Handsoap Edition!

You’re probably tired of hearing about all the dangerous chemicals in absolutely everything you touch… To be completely honest, I get super tired of it too. Sometimes I start to feel a bit crazy and wonder whether or not I’m the paranoid one. (Some of you may be nodding emphatically at me right now…)

BUT, I think the biggest problem is that we live in a culture in which manufacturers are profit-driven and consumers will buy whatever gimmicks they are given. SO, if a manufacturer markets a product as smelling fabulous and being luxurious for the skin, the consumer (us) generally wants to (and should be able to…but sadly can’t) believe that it is safe and good and does what it claims. Unfortunately, regulations on what is safe have been reduced to whether not there are severe, immediate, provable reactions. Basically, they make sure we aren’t washing our hands in straight bleach or brushing our teeth in gasoline. Aside from that, it gets a little sketchy.

Here’s why.

Most of the biggest dangers in our products are either longterm damage, or side effects that come after a buildup from a few uses. AND, we have so many things we use every day, that something as potentially preventable as an itchy rash reaction to an ingredient is instead diagnosed as ‘contact dermatitis’ and prescribed a cream to treat it. OR, a condition that is much more life-affecting, such a thyroid disease, severe menstrual issues, or even PCOS could potentially be stemming from a lifetime of using various products (and eating various foods) that are endocrine and hormone disruptors. And these are just a few examples of course.

But this is why we tackle all of these aspects of our households and lives. It’s not just a witch hunt or some nebulous fear of the ‘un-organic’. The results of each swapout may not be immediately tangible (or they actually might!). But collectively, we are striving to purify our lifestyles to heal our own health issues (thyroid, adrenal, autoimmune, etc) and hopefully help you do the same in your life!
I know most of our posts are about DIYs and recipes. However, there are a few things we still buy, rather than make. I want to share these with you guys in a blog series of ‘Super Simple Swapouts’!

These are little changes that might have big effects on your health. It’s as simple as choosing a different bottle of shampoo or bar of soap.

First up in this series of swap outs is…


It seemed like a good start to me, considering we use it, well, all day! (At least I HOPE you all do!) It’s such a key element of basic hygiene that we don’t think twice as we pump it on and scrub it off.

There are two main types of hand soaps out there (I’m sure there are more if you want to technical, but just go with it!).

There’s just basic hand soap, which has plenty of issues of its own, believe it or not… And then there’s… antibacterial hand soap! It sounds so much…cleaner. But frankly, it’s a load of trouble with little payoff.

To begin with, antibacterial hand soap doesn’t really get your hands much cleaner. The key to that is good hand washing practices. Warm water, friction, and some time. Try singing your ABCs for an idea of how long. You’ll only get a few funny looks in public restrooms. ; )

Anyway, antibacterial hand soap also destroys the good bacteria on our hands that are designed to fight off the bad guys. It does so with harmful chemicals, such as Triclosan. This nasty stuff has recently been getting some bad press. It causes muscle damage, as well as disrupting hormones. When it mixes with chlorine in tap water, it creates chloroform. To make things better, it was originally registered as a pesticide and is still used in commercial applications. Yuck!

So what about the regular stuff?

Softsoap Warm Ginger and Coconut:

Water, Sodium laureth sulfate, Cocamidopropyl betaine, sodium chloride, cocamide MEA, fragrance, sodium salicylate, sodium benzoate, citric acid, tetrasodium EDTA, sodium sulfate, polyquaternium-7, PEG-18 glyceryl oleate/cocoate, poloxamer 124, PEG-7 glyceryl cocoate, hydrogenated jojoba oil, cocos nucifera (coconut) oil, zingiber officinale (ginger) root extract,Ext. D&C violet no. 2.

Frankly, there’s just too much to tackle here without putting you guys to sleep. Soooo… we’ll hit the high – I mean – lowlights.

Sodium laureth sulfate: Damages skin and hair by denaturing them so that external contaminants can penetrate deeper. Can damage children’s eyes. Can also cause liver toxicity. Disrupts hormones by mimicking Oestrogen in the body. Potential carcinogen.

Polyquaternium-7: Causes organ toxicity. Potentially linked to cancer.

Fragrance: Guess what? No one (but the company) ever knows what this means. It could be one of over 200 chemicals, packaged under a cute, innocent-sounding name. And regulations don’t require the chemical of choice to be listed specifically, because it is a ‘proprietary blend’ or ‘trade secret’. Even more lovely is that it could be a lethal cocktail of many different chemicals. Some are carcinogens, some are neurotoxins, some cause reproductive issues, and others respiratory distress. The list goes on.

So what now?

Last I checked, skipping handwashing wasn’t the best choice…

super simple soap swap pic

Well, there are a few options.

Sheila’s favorite is Thieves handsoap. It has natural antibacterial properties from the essential oils in it, is completely non-toxic, and smells great to boot! You can buy the individual foaming dispensers from Young Living and then buy a refill bottle of concentrate that is much cheaper. Or, if you already have dispensers on hand, just buy the refill to start out! You only need a little bit of the concentrate in your handsoap dispenser and can fill the rest of the way with water. If you aren’t a member of Young Living and want to purchase some, feel free to contact us!

thieves soap pic

Amberlyn’s current favorite is Dr. Bronner’s castile soap**** that you can buy here. It comes in multiple scents, such as peppermint, tea tree, lavender, and rose. We use almond, which has a nice, mild scent.

It is very concentrated, so you only need about a 1 to 1 or 1 to 2 ratio of soap and water. I put mine in an old foaming hand soap dispenser and it goes pretty far.

There ya go! A super simple swapout to get you started on your journey to better health!

****Now, a disclaimer, my (Amberlyn’s) wonderful, researching mother (Sheila) recently brought to my attention that Dr. Bronners is somewhat more alkaline than our skin pH and has lye in the ingredients list. This raises a bit of concern to me and I’m currently looking for a more balanced castile soap. But to be honest, I’m not super worried about it compared to the ingredients of most handsoaps. However, mama (Sheila) finds it much safer and purer to stick with the Thieves handsoap in the meantime! 
Until I find an alternative, it is still my option of choice. If you know of others, please feel free to comment and let me know! I’ll keep y’all posted on what I find!


*This post contains affiliate links. We will never link to products we don’t fully believe in and endorse.



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The Truth about Toothpaste (And a Recipe of Course!)

The average American uses around 4 tubes of toothpaste a year. And if it’s a yummy flavor and you have kids (or grown up ‘kids’!) you are bound to be above average.


And who doesn’t accidentally swallow some while brushing? In my opinion, it’s kinda inevitable. Growing up, my (Amberlyn’s) mama (Sheila, the awesome other half of these blog posts!) always told me NOT to swallow my toothpaste and to make sure I spit it out. I don’t know about you, but that was sure easier said than done. Let’s just say I did more swallowing than spitting. Shhhhh… ; )

Anyway, remember what I’ve said about what we put on our skin being just as, if not more, critical than what we consume? Well guess what? Our mouths are lined with skin… thin, absorbent skin. Soooo… we put toothpaste on our ‘skin’ AND we consume it. Double whammy.

Trust me, you want to make sure your tooth scrubbing stuff of choice is puuuure. And I’m betting yours probably isn’t. Just a statistical guess….

So, good ol’ Colgate. An American cavity-fighting classic. What’s in it? As usual, I’ll briefly break it down. (And don’t forget, most toothpastes are fairly similar. I just chose one brand for simplicity!)

COLGATE TOTAL (Which, according to their website is “recommended and used by more dental professionals than any other toothpaste brand.”): Sodium flouride, triclosan, water, hydrated silica, glycerin, sorbitol, PVM/MA copolymer, sodium laurel sulfate, cellulose gum, flavor, sodium hydroxide, carrageenan, propylene glycol, sodium saccharine, titanium dioxide.

Ok, so to be frank with you, I don’t have the time to cover what’s wrong with every ingredient here, and you probably don’t have the time to read it… seriously. It’s that bad. So I’ll hit the high (or should I say, low) lights.

Flouride: Oh-so-controversial. I could write a whole post on it. Suffice to say that it has been linked to hypothyroidism, dental flourosis, iodine deficiencies, accelerated aging, immune system disfunction, cartilage problems, and much more.
The MSDS (material safety data sheet) for Sodium Fluoride states that the potential acute side effects are: “Hazardous in case of skin contact (irritant), of eye contact (irritant, corrosive), of ingestion, of inhalation”. And the potential chronic health effects (like, from ingesting it every day in toothpaste, water, etc) are that: “The substance may be toxic to kidneys, lungs, the nervous system, heart, gastrointestinal tract, cardiovascular system, bones, teeth. Repeated or prolonged exposure to the substance can produce target organs damage.”
Flouride has also been banned in China, Austria, Belgium, Finland, Germany, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, Hungary, and Japan.

There is so much more behind the fluoride issue, but this is just a start!

Triclosan: Contributes to antibiotic resistance, is an endocrine disruptor (think thyroid, adrenals, hormone regulators, etc), and has been linked to breast cancer. It also, when used in hand sanitizers, has been known to cause nerve damage. The state of Minnesota has already banned most uses of Triclosan. Unfortunately, the rest of the U.S. is still catching up.

Sodium Laurel Sulfate: This stuff basically has become a lethal buzzword, even in more mainstream circles. Honestly, I can’t figure how Colgate gets away with keeping it in their toothpaste. (Probably because no one really reads labels…and we should be able to trust such a highly-recommended brand.) Anyway, SLS was originally marketed as a pesticide for organic farmers, but was denied because of potential environmental damage. It is now registered as a insecticide. It is linked to canker sores and skin irritation, and the manufacturing process causes it to be contaminated with carcinogens.

Propylene Glycol: This stuff is used in antifreeze, paints, enamels, etc. Need I say more? Why in the world is this in toothpaste?

And the list could go on and on and on… But if I haven’t convinced you by now that toothpaste is one of the most lethal products in your medicine cabinet, then I might as well give up.

Because of these dangers, there are now ‘natural’ toothpastes on the market, like Tom’s of Maine.
Fortunately, they don’t have antifreeze. Unfortunately, they still have insecticides.
Tom’s may have ditched the Triclosan and propylene glycol. But they still have sodium laurel sulfate and fluoride in their ‘Simply White’ toothpaste. To be fair, they do have some options sans fluoride, but they keep that SLS across the board. Not to mention, they can get pricey.

Of course, all of this led us to our usual solution… homemade ice cream! Wait, that’s my husband’s default solution for anything…haha. What I meant to say was… TOOTHPASTE!
Don’t worry, we’ll share the homemade ice cream recipe yumminess another time! : )

There may be a couple ingredients you need to order for your toothpaste making startup. But don’t let that initial little outlay inhibit you at all. Remember that the recipe below (which will use a small part of what you buy) should last a family of 4 at least 1/2 year! Of course, you could always buy smaller amounts than what we’ve linked to, and halve the recipe if you’re intimidated by bulk! 🙂

Here goes…



1 ½ cups coconut oil
I cup baking soda
I cup xylitol (non-gmo)
½ cup bentonite clay
1/2 cup ground up eggshells (totally optional, but great for remineralization. See note below)
Young Living Essential oils Peppermint 20 drops
Young Living Essential oils Thieves 10 drops

Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl and add essential oil, then add coconut oil and blend.  I use the stick blender to get all the lumps out of the baking soda. When blended, pour into jars for storage. (I use glass as a rule. You will see that there are a couple of plastic ones in my pictures but those are for travel.)

IMG_8929Then, put it in the fridge for about an hour, until it sets up. After that, you can take it out and leave it on the bathroom counter.  If you don’t like double dipping, use a spatula to dip it out or buy reusable silicone tubs. This makes enough toothpaste for about 6-8 months for a family of 4. You can see how much it makes in the picture, and I (Sheila!) use a lot of toothpaste each brushing.  They call me a toothpaste hog! (Amberlyn’s note: it’s true…she is a toothpaste hog! If you’re like my hubby and I, the recipe could last a year…haha)

***NOTE: If you are trying to remineralize your teeth, adding powdered eggshells is a free, easy option. All you need to do is save your eggshells, rinse them out, bake them on 300 for 15 minutes or so to sterilize, then throw in a coffee grinder or food processor. Voila! Homemade remineralizing calcium powder.




**This post contains affiliate links. We would never endorse a product we don’t believe in and find beneficial.



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Summertime Refreshment – Electrolyte/Detox Drink Recipe

’Tis the season for much sweating… Especially if you’re a fellow Floridian sweltering in the rapidly approaching summer heat. And when we sweat, we lose not just water, but minerals as well.

Whether we are outside sweating, or even just inside living day-to-day (even though I highly recommend more of the outside and sweating than being inside), we need hydration and minerals. We live in a mineral-depleted society due to poor diet and poor farming habits that leave the soil – and fruits of the soil – lower in minerals than in years past.

Adding minerals is important in any diet, but especially active people or those struggling with adrenal fatigue, thyroid issues, or other endocrine-related health problems.
Most people realize they need some minerals. This is why the sports drink industry is thriving. What they don’t realize often, is that all sources are not created equal. When it comes to sports drinks, the health costs tend to outweigh the benefits.

Vitamin Water (Refresh Flavor): reverse osmosis water, crystalline fructose, cane sugar, less than 0.5% of: citric acid, vitamin C (ascorbic acid), natural flavors, vegetable juice (color), gum acacia, magnesium lactate and calcium lactate and potassium phosphate (electrolyte sources), vitamin B5 (calcium pantothenate), glycerol ester of rosin, vitamin A palmitate, vitamin B6 (pyridoxine hydrochloride), vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin).

Okay, let’s break that laundry list of ingredients down! Basically water, sugar, natural flavors, gum acacia, and some vitamins/electrolytes. Sounds harmless enough, right? Well, except when you realize that one bottle of the stuff has 33 grams of sugar…about a soft drink’s worth! (If you’re not sure what’s so bad about sugar, click here). To make things worse, all of those vitamins are synthetic. Aka, man-made. Unfortunately, synthetic vitamins don’t function in your body like natural ones, and can actually be hard on your body to process. They tend to be more toxic than nutritive. Oh, and ‘natural flavors’ aren’t always so natural. They can be so processed and lab-extracted that they barely resemble their original forms.

Then there’s the classic… Gatorade!

Gatorade: Sugar, dextrose, citric acid, salt, sodium citrate, monopotassium phosphate, gum arabic, glycerol ester of rosin, natural flavor, yellow 5.

Although Gatorade has made recent moves to be ‘healthier’ by removing brominated vegetable oil from their drinks, they still have a long way to go. (Brominated vegetable oil, by the way, is a flame retardant and is banned for consumption in over 100 countries. So I’m not too impressed that they took it out…).
Anyway, we’re looking at the same issues as Vitamin Water with the high sugar content and synthetic vitamins, as well as not-so ‘natural flavors’. However, we have even more nasty to contend with. Glycerol ester of rosin has been declared unsafe by the European Food Safety Authority, and yellow 5 is a known carcinogen.

Honestly, it’s kind of a bummer that you can’t even trust something as widely-promoted as Gatorade or as healthy sounding as ‘Vitamin Water’. So what’s a poor, health-conscious dehydrated soul to do? MAKE YOUR OWN OF COURSE! : )
It’s easy peasy! Trust me! If you can turn on a blender or shake a bottle, you can make it! It’s yummy, COMPLETELY healthy, and fairly simple! It also serves as a gentle detox, with cleansing ingredients like ACV (apple cider vinegar) and lemon juice. Win-win!
Oh, and you can always customize it to your taste! Not sweet enough for you? Add more honey! Don’t like lime? replace it with lemon! You get the idea…


This drink mix is zingy with a hint of sweet, and perfect for quenching your thirst on those sweaty summer days!
Enjoy and stay hydrated!


1 ½ cups organic lemon juice
1 cup organic raw apple cider vinegar (we recommend Braggs brand)
1 cup raw local honey
¼ cup organic lime juice
1 tsp. Himalayan Salt or Real Salt
1 ½ tbl mineral drops (we recommend Concentrace brand) optional

Put all ingredients in the Vitamix or other blender and blend up. (Or, if you’re lazy and don’t want to clean the blender, you can just put them all in a jar and shake).
Then add to a gallon jug and finish with water for a ready-to-drink mixture.
Or, skip adding water and store in a quart jar for a concentrated mixture to add in water as you want it.


Nina In New York: Gatorade Removes Potentially Toxic Ingredient Also Found In Flame Retardant. Yum!!


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Baby or Personal Wipes Recipe (And why you might want to make your own!)

Do have any idea what is in your wipes? I didn’t until recently. Knowing what they’re used for, you’d think they’re pretty harmless, right? Think again.

You may think to read the ingredients of what you eat, but it is just as important (or more so) to read what you put on your skin. Sometimes it can actually be more dangerous to put a toxin on your skin than to eat it. This is because when we consume something, our liver can filter it out, while whatever goes on our skin goes straight into our body with no filter.

So what is in those wipes? I grabbed the ingredients off a couple top brands. They both seem to be a pretty good representation. And to be fair, I even looked at the ‘natural’ version of Huggies baby wipes. The results we were still alarming:

Cottonelle Wipes: Water, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Benzoate, Butoxy PEG-4 PG-Amodimethicone, Phenoxyethanol, Malic Acid, Sodium Lauryl Glucose Carboxylate, Polysorbate 20, Lauryl Glucoside, Fragrance, Sorbic Acid

Huggies Natural Baby Wipes: Water, Phenoxyethanol, Amoimethicone, Caprylyl Glycol, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Malic Acid, Sodium Citrate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate

While some of those ingredients are fairly harmless, or even beneficial (aloe, water, etc), most are downright harmful! There are hormone disruptors, carcinogens, and many other dangerous chemicals.

Just to give a few examples:

Sodium Benzoate is a toxin that attacks our DNA, changing the mitochondria. Parkinsons, ADHD, asthma, hypertension, and liver disease are just a couple of the ways it harms the body long-term.

Phenoxyethanol is a scientifically proven skin and eye irritant. It is also an endocrine (think adrenals, thyroid, etc) disruptor, and can damage the brain, nervous system, and bladder.

Those are just two of the multiple ingredients. You could look up each one and find a wrap sheet on most of them. And most people are putting them every day on theirs and their babies’, *ahem* sensitive areas. Yikes!

Now, there are a few expensive, natural, less-toxic brands out there. But, in true crunchysquared form, we are suggesting you make them! It’s simple and inexpensive.

(If you simply don’t have the time or interest in making your own wipes, Poof brand wipes are a terrific alternative. Their only ingredients are: 100% Sustainable Plant Materials, Deionized Water, Aloe Vera Extract, and Non-GMO Glycerin (vegetable). Natracare brand is another option, but not quite so pure in its ingredients list. Nothing horrible chemical-wise, but a longer list with a couple questionables. I’d still be more comfortable using them than most brands though.)

BUT, if you are ready to DIY, the following recipe can be used as a personal toilet wipe or a baby wipe. We’ve blended many recipes and tweaked them until we created this one.



1/2 a roll of paper towels, cut down the middle with a knife, blade, saw, or whatever you can hack through it with. (Select-a-size works best. We have used Viva and Sam’s, but are transitioning to Bamboo. More on that soon.)
1 1/2-2 cups of water that has been boiled and cooled to warm (boiling makes it sterile and keeps it from mildewing or growing bacteria)
1 tbs Castile soap (we like Dr. Bronners unscented or almond and scent with our own Young Living essential oils). Cleans skin
1 tbs expeller pressed coconut oil (from Wilderness Family Natural or Young Living’s V-6 blend oil). Conditions skin and is anti microbial
1 tbs witch hazel. Tones and cleans skin well
1 tbs natural aloe (not with preservatives. We like this one). Conditions skin
1 squirt vitamin E oil. Helps preserve and is great for skin
6-8 drops Essential Oil (we usually use Young Living’s Lavender or Citrus for personal care and Lavender or Gentle Baby blend for baby wipes)

Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Place paper towels in a plastic bag or container, then pour the mixture over them evenly. When they are evenly soaked, pull out the cardboard center and that should start your roll. Leave them to finish soaking up the water.





*This post contains affiliate links. We will never link to products we don’t fully believe in and endorse.