All Natural Beauty Products

washing face

I find soap too drying for my face, cleansers are pricy and a lot of the time if they are gentle enough they don’t clean effectively.  Several years ago when my daughter, Rachel, became an esthetician we began looking at the products on the market that were all natural, supposedly.  We found many to have parabens, even the ones from the health food store.  So I used my knowledge as a Chef and my background in herbal medicine to study the traditional oils and ingredients in cleansers.  I learned to formulate and them started experimenting. I came up with this cleanser; it is inexpensive to make, works really well as an exfoliate, cleanser and has essential oils that nourish the skin.  After I began using it I found it so effective that I stopped using glycolics and other exfoliates.   I will also tell you how to do a great facial at home for almost no money.


3 cup water
2 cups baking soda
1/2 teaspoon almond oil
2 drops lavender essential oil
1 ½ cup honey
1 Tbsp. Dr. Bonners Almond liquid soap
2 teaspoon glycerin
1 teaspoon Vitamin C
1 teaspoon Salicylic acid – you can crush up aspirin for this or buy it through a formulation site.
3 Tablespoons Xanthan gum

On low heat, combine water, honey, almond, Dr. Bonners, oils. Remove from heat and let cool about a minute. Add honey. Whisk. While whisking, add ascorbic acid and salicylic acid. Whisk slowly, do not inhale powders. Now add baking soda, a little at a time, it will thicken this mix a tad. Add xanthan gum a tablespoon at a time to thicken. Let sit a few minutes, adjust thickness. I like it to be kind of thick, like a hair conditioner. Apply to the skin like a soap and rinse off with tepid water.

You will notice your skin feels incredibly clean, soft with no tightness or dryness. The honey is a humectant, a good moisturizer and an natural preservative.


This mask with make your skin feel as great as any high percentage glycolic peel and it helps even out skin tone by fading the brown splotches some of us get.

Make a paste out of baking soda and lemon juice.  Apply to your face and leave on for about 3 or 4 minutes the first time.  This is a fairly strong fruit acid so use for short periods at first, you will feel it burn at first.  Use Rose Oil to sooth the skin after washing it off.  Ultimately use it about once a week and your skin will get used to it.  Hold a towel under your chin as you are doing this as it tends to dry out.  You can use half of the lemon to re-moisten it if needed.

Deodorant-  I don’t use it all the time, as eating clean means every low amount of body odor.  But I found that very few all natural deodorants actually worked.   Finally, two years ago I found Weleda’s Citrus Deodorant and it works!!  Loved it.   BUT at $16.00 for 3.4 ounces I was loath to re-buy it.  So, I looked at the ingredients and made it myself.


Buy one bottle of grain alcohol. Buy one small bottle of lemon oil, organic.

I used the Weleda bottle and mixed my own, using 3 1/4 ounces of alcohol and added 1/4 teaspoon of oil, shake well, spray on and enjoy.

California Dumps Flammability Standard That Filled Our Furniture With Toxic Flame Retardants

From Treehugger 

Millie;  Flame Retardant chemicals are extremely toxic and are in our furniture and in out children’s sleepwear!  This means that between the sleepwear and the mattress we are absorbing HIGHLY toxic chemicals. They are endocrine interrupters and are known to lower sperm count.  I became aware of these chemicals about 30 years ago when making choices for my children’s sleepwear.  I chose plain white cotton oversize t-shirts for my children to sleep in.  I sleep on an organic wool and cotton futon with a luxurious feather topper.  You should to.  Both together cost me less than $500. 5 years ago…WAY cheaper than a conventional mattress.  The latex and chemicals in normal mattresses cause me to go into anaphylactic shock if I sleep on them. 

TreeHugger has been complaining for years that flame retardants are a problem because they are bio-accumulative and are being found everywhere, from baby’s umbilical cords to polar bears. That they be endocrine disruptors. That they don’t even work or even do more harm than good. But the stuff kept being poured into furniture and electronics to meet the California Flammability Standard, that became the de facto national standard.

Now Governor Jerry Brown has thrown the standard out. According to Sarah Janssen at NRDC Switchboard,Brown made a historic and significant announcement when he directed a state agency to replace an outdated and ineffective flammability standard, TB 117, with an updated standard that will eliminate the use of unnecessary and toxic chemicals while providing better fire safety. Governor Brown has taken a strong position that favors public health over corporate profits. This directive will have a significant public health impact by reducing exposure to toxic chemicals in not just California but across the U.S.

The Governor summarizes the issue:   Toxic flame retardants are found in everything from high chairs to couches and a growing body of evidence suggests that these chemicals harm human health and the environment,” said Governor Brown. “We must find better ways to meet fire safety standards by reducing and eliminating—wherever possible—dangerous chemicals.


Do You Shop Local?

It’s easy to re-post what we see on the Internet, we all “Like” stuff all the time..

How often do we REALLY support what we say we do?  Everyone calls for us to make greener choices, buy local, do the right thing!

Eat Local

But how many of you breeze through Publix each week grabbing veggies, dish soap, meat? 

JD Beef has Grass Fed Beef at Riverside Arts Market every Saturday for SIX DOLLARS A pound!

Green Lotus Organics has the best soaps, lotions and lip balms in town! You can find them in little local shops all over town.

Green Man Gourmet has amazing salts, beer, herbs and spices in Avondale.

Grassroots has local cage free eggs at a WAY better price than Publix!  You can green cleaners, make up, most of what you need AND avoid sending your money out of Jax by way of Whole Foods.

The Cake Shop of San Jose is on Hendricks with cakes that are delicious and stunningly beautiful!  Unless you are needing gluten free these cakes are your best bet instead that tasteless stuff at Publix.

Clothing made locally is readily available at Bad Girls Boutique, Edge City has had amazing hip clothing for years in Avondale.  Laurie Dyer has beautiful cotton tie dyed clothing at RAM every week. For dressier clothing Blair Woolverton’s place in Avondale is awesome.

You NEVER need go to big box stores, there are so many choices locally.

There are Farmer’s Markets AL:L over town now!  The Veggie Bin delivers. There’s Avondale Farmers Market, Jacksonville Farmers’ Market is open 27/7,  The Jacksonville Landing Farmers and Arts Market is downtown,  Jacksonville Seed Exchange is a great place for exchanging seeds.  

Chamblin’s both Uptown and on Roosevelt have all the books you could ever possibly read and you are recycling!

No need to go to Lowe’s or Home Depot for lumber, we have local lumber companies.  Philip’s Garden Store and Trads’ Garden Store both ROCK!

There are Consignment shops ALL over town, Goodwill, Local Ace Hardware’s…I could go on and on and on…


Eating Organic Economically; How I Eat and Cook all Week.


I hear all the time from friends and clients, “It’s too expensive to eat organic!”  If you eat packaged foods, buy gluten free or organic prepared foods, of course it is expensive.  You pay for convenience.  But change your perspective, make most foods from scratch and you will be able to lower your food bills, even eating organically.

1 whole organic chicken 10.00
1 pound grass-fed hamburger 6.00 a pound from JD Beef at RAM
18 eggs- Grassroots Market 5 Points– 3.99
1 pound Applegate Farms turkey bacon 3.79- Publix has it for 1.80 less than health foods stores!
½ pound salmon 4.99
1 pound  butter 5.89
1 pound carrots 2.99
3 large onions

¾ pound coffee 3.00 a week  (6.00 a pound, organic and free trade from Green Mountain Coffee- delivered to my door every 5 weeks).
3 green peppers bell peppers
1 bag celery 1.99
1 pint blueberries 3.99
1 bunch kale, Swiss chard, spinach, Malabar spinach or broccoli
3 large sweet potatoes 2.99
3 beefsteak tomatoes
2 Garlic bulb
2 limes .99 and 2 lemons 1.10

45.73- total grocery bill to meet all my nutrient and calorie needs

The items in red are the things I grow in sub-irrigated containers; I used 5 gallon buckets, soil, perlite and made sub-irrigated containers. Growing from seed is cheap.

If you have a backyard, or a deck for container gardening, or grow lights indoors, you can save further in ways that processed food eaters can’t: Almost all year I grow salad greens, herbs, braising greens of some kind and cucumbers and tomatoes. (The salad herbs oregano, thyme, mint, basil, cilantro and parsley never quit here in any season!)

Items I make myself; almond butter made in the Champion juicer, coconut milk yogurt, mayonnaise, salad dressings. These things are very inexpensive to make, very easy to do…not much labor.

Starting on the day I shop, here’s how I eat and cook all week, very simply, but extremely healthy.

First Night; I roast a whole chicken by rubbing butter all over it, salt and peppering it, maybe some garlic or lemon juice and zest. Then roast it for 30 minutes on 450°. Then turn the oven down to 300° and bake for 30 minutes. Now turn the oven back up to 400° and roast that bird just 165°, checking for temp in the thickest part of the breast, not hitting the bone. Save the pan drippings for cooking, save the carcass for stock. Here’s a link to making stock-

That is dinner the first night; a leg and thigh and some breast meat, pour pan drippings over it, using fat and gelatin in roasting pan. With some sautéed peppers and onions and a few slices of ripe tomato, here’s a great dinner.

Breakfast is usually 2 eggs, fried in butter or coconut oil, 3 slices of turkey bacon, some coconut milk yogurt and a handful of blueberries. And 6 ounces of Turkish coffee, ground and brewed each morning. Some mornings I have Ezekiel bread.

Lunch is usually whatever I’ve had for dinner the night before, or an Ezekiel bread sandwich, with meat, fresh olive oil mayonnaise, or almond butter. Maybe Ezekiel with almond butter and sauerkraut, toasted. Usually a cup of meat stock and/or coconut milk yogurt.

Second night; take the rest of the meat off of the chicken, make stock. Have a great chicken soup that night, add sautéed celery, carrots, bay leaf. Maybe some kale sautéed in chicken fat, some gelatin from chicken pan drippings, onions, mushrooms. Sliced tomatoes.

Third night; 1/3 pound hamburger patty, sautéed onions and peppers, 8 ounces chicken stock, sliced tomatoes, coconut milk yogurt.

Fourth night; fresh salmon with dill, Dijon and fresh lemon juice, sautéed peppers, mushrooms and onions, sliced tomatoes. A cup of chicken stock.

Fifth night; Chicken meat prepared however you want, sautéed kale, ½ sweet potato, sautéed mushrooms. Coconut milk Crème Brule and a few blueberries.

Sixth night; 1/3 pound hamburger patty, pan gravy, ½ sweet potato with butter, kale with onions.

Seventh Night; Rest of hamburger with peppers, onions, tomato, salsa, avocado and fresh corn tortilla.

Shop again, or have leftovers, or breakfast for dinner.

Extras I buy if I can afford them; cherries, plantains to fry, dark chocolate, steaks, roasts, Ezekiel bread, wine.

Things I always have in the kitchen; raw butter, Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil and their coconut cream (to use in recipes that call for heavy cream or for decadent desserts) Dijon mustard, olives, herbs and spices, an array of vinegars, olive oil, sesame oil, masa harina, coconut oil, lemons, limes, Kava tea, organic coffee, Yerba Mate Tea, quinoa, rice, teff, coconut and tapioca flours, coconut milk, curry sauces, olives.

Bear in mind that this is a very basic dinner menu, showing how to meet all of your calorie and nutrient needs affordably. These dinners reflect basic eating, by adding other ingredients I can get real fancy, and I do at times.

Massachusetts To Ban the Trashing of Commercial Food Waste


From Bon Appetit

Last week, a biased but fairly thorough analysis revealed that Massachusetts is the best state in the nation. Even if the weather can get a little miserable, the Bay State tops (or is at least close to topping) the charts in education, health, and wealth, and recently pushed California out of its number one spot as America’s most energy-efficient state.

And it looks like it’s going to keep that energy-efficient crown for a while. Starting in 2014, large institutions including hotels and restaurants are going to be banned from throwing away their leftover food. Instead, the food waste will go to composting sites and specially-designed treatment plants to convert the scraps into energy, heat, and fertilizer.

The specially-designed plants use bacteria to break down the leftovers into methane, which is then burned like natural gas to make electricity. This kind of system is already in place in parts of Europe, and state officials hope to expand it to home and small restaurant waste, too.

Expect the rest of the country to catch up to the Best State in a couple of decades.
[via Slate, Boston]

Fallacies Concerning Red Meat Consumption

Bison Porterhouse Steak, page 126, Tender Grassfed Barbecue, by Stanley A. Fishman.

There has been many articles about the dangers of red meat; that it leads to heart disease, cancer, diverticulitis, weight gain. 

I have a huge problem with this advice. These experts NEVER distinguish between factory red meat and grass-fed red meat. Factory red meat is raised with the use of chemicals, fed unnatural feed sprayed with pesticides, and often bizarre feeds like chicken manure, donuts, and candy bars still in their wrappers. Grass-fed meat is raised on green living grass, without the chemicals, and unnatural feed. The difference between these two types of meat is huge, as they are very different in their content and composition. The studies used by these experts for the basis of their opinion NEVER distinguish between factory meat and grass-fed meat, treating them like the same substance. Since over ninety-eight percent of the red meat eaten in the U.S. is factory meat, those studies really only apply to factory meat, not grass-fed.

Our ancestors barbecued red meat all the time. In fact, a huge portion of the meat enjoyed by humanity for thousands and thousands of years was cooked with fire. But until modern times, nearly all of this meat was grass-fed.

To Read Full Article_ CLICK HERE

Full Post is at Tender Grass Fed Meat

Easy Ways to Conserve Water


According to Scientific American you can use more than 40 gallons of water by letting the faucet run while washing the dishes.

Here’s how to use only use about 3 or 4 gallons;

Wash dishes with 2 dish pans in the sink, one for hot soapy water, one with warm rinse water. Do glasses first, pause a moment to let the soapy water drip off, then move to rinse water. Stop when rinse water is almost full and rinse quickly. Repeat with silver, plates, then pots and utensils. All with 2 dishpans full of water. Then I pour the soapy water, with all that organic matter, onto my plants in the garden. It helps repel pests and loosens the soil. And good for the biceps when you carry it outdoors.

Other ways to save water;

1)  Use very low flow shower heads. Ace Hardware has a 1.5 GPM with a shut-off valve. Take a 3 minute shower!

2)  Use grey water from shower(I keep a 5 gallon bucket in shower and use it throughout the day to flush the toilet, take what’s left to the flower beds. If you can’t lift a 5 gallon bucket, use a 3 gallon one.  You’ll work up to a 5 gallon one in no time, just keep doing it!

3) NEVER buy bottled water. I bought a Kleen Kanteen for each person in the family, we refill and take with us. I’ve had mine over a year.

4) I have an outdoor solar heated shower that I built.  May not save water bit is saves electricity!

5)  I water my garden with buckets from the rain barrels that are under the eaves of my garage. 10 feet from my garden. The front flower garden gets watered entirely from the dish water.

6) I feel VERY strongly that it is awful to put sewage back in to fresh water.  I use a sawdust toilet thus putting no sewage in the system..and makes for great compost (ONLY for high heat composting!). 

Top Ten Reasons to Line Dry


We think there are dozens of reasons to hang out, but these are a few of the most compelling reasons.  Project Laundry

10) Save money

You can save more than $25/month off the monthly electric bill for many households.

9) Clothes last longer

Where do you think lint comes from?

8) Pleasant Scent

Clothes and linens smell better without adding possibly toxic chemicals to your body and the environment.

7) Saves Energy, Preserves Environment, Reduces Pollution

Conserve energy and the environment, while reducing climate change.

6) Healthy Work

It is moderate physical activity which you can do in or outside.

5) Get the Sunshine Treatment

Sunlight bleaches and disinfects.

4) Replace another appliance

Indoor racks can humidify in dry winter weather.

3) Avoid a Fire

Clothes dryer and washing machine fires account for about 17,700 structure fires, 15 deaths, and 360 injuries annually. The yearly national fire loss for clothes dryer fires in structures is estimated at $194 million. See a diagram of the critical danger zones of the dryer.

2) It is fun!

And can be an outdoor experience that is meditative and community-building. It may also help you avoid depression.

1) It is truly patriotic

Demonstrates that small steps can make a difference. You don’t have to wait for the government to take action!

Positive Proof of Global Warming

All Natural Laundry Soap for about $20.00 a YEAR!

I posted about Soap Nuts a few years ago, but wanted to update and spread the word about this awesome, all natural solution for laundry soap.  I discovered Soap nuts about 5 years ago and am still using them.  It is a nut that grows on a tree, is safe, natural alternatives to harmful chemicals. Soap nuts release saponin (an effective, hypoallergenic, biodegradable organic cleaning agent. If you suffer from allergies, have sensitive skin, use cloth diapers, or want to do your part for a greener earth, soap nuts fit the bill. Soap nuts leave laundry clean, fresh and soft; dishes, pots and pans sparkling clean; your hair and scalp healthy – plus offer a plethora of green household cleaning uses.

I use them for laundry primarily.  In cold water I just put them in a small muslin bag (comes with the nuts) and wash a few loads with them.  For hot water washes I make a liquid by pouring boiling water over a handful of nuts and let it sit over night. It makes about a quart, which I keep in the fridge.  That amount will do about 20 loads of laundry.

You can use this liquid for a Mosquito Repellent, for hand soap or shampoo.


From Google

From Laundry Tree

From NaturOli Organic through Amazon

Here’s a Guide on Growing Soap Nuts

I have asked both Grassroots Market and Whole foods to carry far no luck.  BUT, if you ask each time you go in and they continue to get requests, perhaps they will get them in for us!

If the Food’s in Plastic, What’s in the Food?

By Susan Freinkel
In a study published last year in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, researchers put five San Francisco families on a three-day diet of food that hadn’t been in contact with plastic. When they compared urine samples before and after the diet, the scientists were stunned to see what a difference a few days could make: The participants’ levels of bisphenol A (BPA), which is used to harden polycarbonate plastic, plunged — by two-thirds, on average — while those of the phthalate DEHP, which imparts flexibility to plastics, dropped by more than half.

The findings seemed to confirm what many experts suspected: Plastic food packaging is a major source of these potentially harmful chemicals, which most Americans harbor in their bodies. Other studies have shown phthalates (pronounced THAL-ates) passing into food from processing equipment and food-prep gloves, gaskets and seals on non-plastic containers, inks used on labels — which can permeate packaging — and even the plastic film used in agriculture.