>U Mom Knows Best: 2019

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Benefits Of Black Maca For Ladies And Hormones

We ladies can be a hot mess when it comes to hormones

               I received a sample of black maca to facilitate this post

 Depending on the time of the month or the season of our life, we ladies are not happy with the hormones in our bodies. We start the hormonal journey with puberty and then for about the next 45 years, those hormones can make our lives miserable at times. The main hormones estrogen and progesterone have many functions in our bodies and our very useful for ladies but at the same time can make us miserable. Hormones are awesome when we want to have a baby but not so much when they cause us to have PMS symptoms or acne. We can have too many hormones in our system or too little depending on that time of the month or the season of our life or because there is an imbalance in our bodies. It can be a love/hate relationship with female hormones. I am glad that I discovered a natural hormonal balancing supplement that can help ladies.

  Hormone Balancing Wonders of Maca
 I have experienced many things that I can blame on my hormones, some good and some bad. Hormones have helped me to conceive and become pregnant with my five children. Hormones have also been the cause of the monthly things like cramps, acne, and that monthly period that I dreaded every month. Hormones have caused me to have mood swings and be a crabby person at times. My current stage with hormones is perimenopause and I am questioning if I am at the beginning or the end of this stage. I have had some small symptoms that made me realize that I need to start balancing my hormones before I start experiencing the awful symptoms my friends have talked about like hot flashes and night sweats. So I started taking a natural supplement called Black Maca and I want to tell you about the benefits of this supplement for our hormones.

 Black Maca for balance in Peri- and Menopause
  I am 54 and I thought that I had escaped the miserable symptoms that come with peri-menopause. Up until this month, the only indication that I had that I was in peri-menopause was that I had my period three times in the past 12 months and that was it. My friends talked about hot flashes, night sweats, and weight gain but I did not have these problems. I think my fitness routine helps with maintaining my weight. Then one day I start feeling warm in the middle of the day and I was not sure if that was a hot flash or it was because it was summertime and the house was eighty degrees and I needed to turn on a fan. I was not bothered by this warm feeling in my body so I thought nothing of it until I woke up in the morning and needed to kick off my blanket because the room was warm. I decided that I did not want to experience a miserable hot flash that my friends have described so researched what supplements could help with Peri- and Menopause symptoms and discovered Black Maca.

 I learned that black maca, a natural dietary supplement could help balance my hormones and be a natural HRT. Black maca is a root that is packed with many nutrients and has beneficial plant sterols that are biochemically related to hormones such as estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone. This supplement could help balance my hormones and hopefully reduce any menopause symptoms so I did not have to experience the dreadfull hot flashes or night sweats.

 So I liked the sound of that and decided to give this hormonal supplement a chance. I added the organic gelatinized black maca supplement to my daily supplements for ladies over 50. The vegan capsules were easy to swallow. I like that I did not have to add a powder to my daily smoothie. I also liked that this black maca dietary supplement contained high levels of protein, fiber, vitamins & minerals like iron, zinc, calcium, vitamin b, magnesium, selenium, and potassium.

 While I was not experiencing any other change of life symptoms, I was happy to learn that maca could help with hot flashes, night sweats, depression, insomnia, nervousness, and anxiety, as well as improved concentration. So I added this supplement into my day with hopes that I would enter into menopause with no symptoms other than the end of the monthly bleeding.

Check out this unique mattress pad that helps night sweats 

Black Maca for PMS Relief
 Research has also shown that black maca can help with PMS symptoms that are caused by an imbalance of hormones. PMS is caused by the low levels of estrogen at the start of the menstrual period and the mid-cycle increases of hormones. So the rise and fall can be evened out by black maca. This adaptogen supplement may even bring relief from the mood swings, fluid retention, and breast tenderness. Black Maca may also help boost fertility and help with libido. Did you know that sweating is healthy and is also good for your libido?

Benefits and uses of black maca
 Black maca has been shown to help with other things besides hormone balance. The below list shows some other benefits that you may experience and could be beneficial ways to use this organic supplement.

Support Fertility
Improve Sexual Function
Increase Memory & Concentration
Help promote rapid muscle growth & endurance
Boosts immunity
Supports stamina, memory, and focus
Aids in balancing hormones and stress levels for men & woman

Did Black Maca help?
 I took the organic black maca supplement for one week and I did not experience any side effects. I did notice that I no longer experienced those small feelings of feeling warm during the day or that weird sense of warmth in the morning. I am not sure if those warm feelings were the beginning of hot flashes or something else like the weather. It has been in the eighties here. Research has show that black maca may work for balancing the hormones, so I will take this supplement as I am entering menopause. To be able to keep the hot flashes away would be awesome. To be able to say goodbye to that monthly friend and not experience any menopause symptoms is something that I like and I will continue to take the black maca daily with the rest of my supplements.

Friday, September 20, 2019

How to Stay Social When Homeschooling

 One of the main reasons many people shy away from homeschooling their children is that they worry about raising kids that aren’t exposed to the social aspects of traditional schooling. Homeschooling is on the rise and what many parents don’t understand is that there are many different ways that you can socialize children who are homeschooled. Here are a few tips on how to stay social when your children are involved in a homeschooling program.

Socialization Starts at Home

 One major aspect of your child’s socialization is often missed by those who feel like homeschooled children are under-socialized, and this is family socialization. When you are part of a family, you are constantly exposed to others, and often these are the people who teach you how to act appropriately in other social situations. For this reason, at-home socialization with family members might just be the most important socialization that your kids can receive.
Beyond this, there are many ways for your children to meet new people. Let’s take a look at a few great ways to make sure that your children are socialized.

Plan Regular Playdays

 Every week or two, plan a day where you meet up with other homeschool children around the same age as yours. During these playdays, your children can enjoy the same kind of socialization other kids would get at school. Playdays can include one-on-one time with a single friend or lots of fun with a larger group. If you have more than one child that you are homeschooling, try to plan time with each of your children’s friends in this manner.
 If your child is friends with a lot of children that go to public or private schools, you might also want to have evening and weekend play dates so that those friends aren’t left out.

Get Involved in Sports

 Playing sports is a great outlet for energy as well as meeting new people and making friends. Team sports are the perfect opportunity to get involved with a lot of children of the same age. Many schools allow homeschoolers to compete in sports activities. The YMCA also offers many sports programs.
If your kid doesn’t seem interested in team sports, you could also sign up for things like dance or swimming or gymnastics. There will likely be other students in the classes without a team aspect. These types of recreational activities are good for both physical and mental health in children.

Participate in Summer Camps

 Summer camps are a lot of fun for all children. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to get your child involved in summer camps. In the spring, start looking at different options and help your child pick a camp that best suits their wants and needs. If you believe that your child is mature enough and can handle it, overnight camps can be a great opportunity for young children to experience time away from family to learn new skills and make new friends. Day camps are also an option for kids that aren’t quite ready to be away from home for so long.
Summer camps can be based around outdoors, sports, arts, and much more. This is why we suggest that you sit down with your child to choose a camp that suits their interests.

Join Homeschool Specific Clubs

 It is always a good idea to get your child involved with children who are also homeschooled. For this reason, it is a great idea to find clubs that are specifically designed for homeschoolers. You will likely find a lot of different options in your area. For example, there are often health clubs, religious groups, scouts’ clubs, and more that your child could easily get involved in.

Start Volunteering

 It seems like there are always so many organizations in need of volunteers. Volunteering is a great way to get some social interaction with people of all backgrounds, which will help your child learn to interact with all different kinds of people. While volunteering, you can also teach your children about helping the community in which you live. You can try to get involved in many different types of volunteering as well. Maybe one year you spend time volunteering for an animal shelter, but the next year you help at a food bank or clean up trash at a local park or lake. Even better, some volunteering activities can help your child get a little exercise.
Volunteering can also look good on college and job applications in the future—especially if you can find opportunities that allow your child to showcase leadership qualities and experience.

Go to Local Music and Art Classes

 Lots of children really enjoy art and music. While you are probably including both art and music in your homeschool lessons, you can use art and music as a good excuse to get your child out of the house to meet new people. If you can’t find any local music or art classes in your area, contact someone who offers music lessons or teaches children how to play instruments. If you can find someone who teaches multiple kids at once, your child will not only be able to find positive interaction with another adult, but they can also work with other kids.
It might take a little more work to introduce your kids to other children as homeschoolers, but it isn’t impossible. You can also make friends in your neighborhood or at church. Find what works best for your family and get out there and socialize!

Back To School Fitness Tips For Kids In Middle School

The new school year is here and it is a perfect time to focus on a healthy body

          I received a Razor scooter to facilitate this post.

  The new school year is here and parents are pretty much done scrambling to get everything on their lists from backpacks to notebooks, and even a new school wardrobe…but what about those overlooked items to keep kids happy, healthy and on track the rest of the school year? What about a fun item that will keep kids healthy and may even help them learn better?

 This fun item needs to be on every kid's back-to-school wish list alongside those fancy gym shoes that you kid wants. The item that I am talking about is a fun Razor Scooter that will make being healthy fun. Every kid needs fitness time and the sad thing is most do not get enough exercise. Kids are in school all day and they may only get gym class once a week. If kids are getting any recess, they usually are not running around as too often the schools are worried about kids getting hurt so recess time is usually kids standing around talking. Older kids who are in middle school get no recess so they are getting even less healthy body exercise. Lack of exercise may affect their school work.

Are my children smart because of genetics?

Find out here Helping Your Child Succeed In School 

Make exercise a part of their day
 For the purpose of this post, I am talking about tips that may only pertain to kids who are in middle school and up as that it the age of my kids but you may find that these tips work great for younger kids also. Middle school kids may not be getting enough exercise as they no longer have recess and some schools do not make gym class a requirement. So as a parent, I encourage you to help your kid make fitness a part of their day. Exercise is important and will even help kids stay healthy.

Exercise can help with independence
 One of the best ways kids can get some healthy exercise is by allowing your kids to ride their bikes or scooter to school instead of having you drive them. This is best if you live a couple miles from the school.  Middle school is a perfect time to give kids some independence. Now that my boys are older, I allow them to go to the park by themselves and ride their bikes around the neighborhood. Yes, I worry about their safety so I use the buddy system. My boys can only go somewhere if they are with a friend. So have your child and a friend head off to school on their own with a fun scooter. The best part of riding a scooter instead of a bike is no worries of flat tires. If you are worried about their safety, get them a cell phone so they can call you once they get to school. Most scooters can be locked up with a bike lock or if your kids are lucky, like mine, the teacher will allow them to leave the scooter in their closet for the day.

Exercise will help improve their grades
 If biking or riding a scooter to school is not an option for your kid, then encourage them to play outside when they get home from school. It is amazing what 30 minutes of having a blast on a scooter can do for their brain. The exercise will help your tween be able to focus on their homework better. Better study time may just lead to better grades in school.

Encourage them to take part in sports
 Most middle schools or junior high schools offer after school sports so now is a great time to encourage kids to get involved with sports. My oldest son loves playing basketball and running so he participates in basketball in the fall and track and field in the spring. These sports teams not only give my son some great exercise but also a chance to make some friends. My younger son is participating in archery and PT with his leadership class so two days a week he gets some fun fitness also.

Make it a family thing
 After work or dinner, the whole family can spend some quality time together going for a walk or playing at the park. Instead of sitting in front of the TV watching a show, set the example for your kids and get some exercise with them. Razor makes scooters for all ages, even adults so get in on the fun and scoot around the neighborhood with your kids. Exercise is a great stress reliever so you may find that the family exercise time benefits you too.

Play some music
 If your day is busy and there is not the time for your kid to get outside. Then blast some energizing music and start dancing. Your teen might think you are crazy but they may just join in on the fun.

Stop driving them everywhere
 When you were a kid and you wanted to go visit a friend or go to the store, did your parents drive you? No, chances are you had to walk or bike so encourage your kids to do the same. Again, work on that independence thing and let them walk. If they participate in after school activities, let them get home on their own with a fun teen-size scooter.

A scooter designed for off-road fun 
 My boys love Razor scooters and own several of them. The best about scooters after the crazy fun is not having to worry about flat tires like you do with a bicycle. My boy's recently got a scooter that is designed for off-road fun. This durable scooter is built to handle a variety of riding styles and is design and tested by John Radtke. My boys think the scooter is cool and has a killer look. My older son could not wait for the weekend so we could head to the skateboard park with his awesome scooter. My son wanted to see how this scooter performed on the ramps. This Phase Two Pro Scooter Radtke has some awesome features that my son loved like the Die-cast aluminum spring brake cartridge that had a push-down feature. The scooter deck had an awesome looking cool-kid design that my tween loved. This is a dual-purpose scooter that can be also used on the sidewalk making it the best transportation for tweens. My boys enjoy using this awesome scooter at the skateboard park near our home and they also use their scooters when they go to places like the store or a friend's house.

How do you encourage your middle school kid to exercise?

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Don't Let Your Weight Define You

Our bodies are so much more than a number!

 Who hates going to the doctor? I really don't like doctor visits for many reasons and I have not been to the doctor for a health check-up in a long time. It is not the outrageous cost of visiting the doctor or having to sit around and wait that keeps me away from the doctor. The one thing that keeps me away from the doctor is that big piece of metal in the exam room. You know that one that has numbers on it. That dreadful scale. I hate stepping on the scale in the doctor's office as that number can make or break my day. I can just hear the doctor say to me "you could stand to lose a few pounds."

I don't know how much I weigh
 Yes, I sure don't look like I need to lose weight, and I don't as I am perfectly happy with my body. Doctors have that stupid weight chart that I don't think anyone can measure up to. According to the scale and that weight chart, I am overweight. The only way I can beat that weight chart is if I don't eat or drink anything and have my doctor appointment first thing in the morning. Even then, my weight is near the top of the chart for my height. That weight chart is messed up and doesn't take into account that my body has a lot of muscle or that I may have had a glass of water or that my body is healthy. The doctor sure doesn't look at my body to notice these things but just that number on the scale.

 My skinny teen son has the opposite problem at the doctors and is told he is not healthy because of his weight. This boy eats like a horse, can run super-fast, lift super heavyweights, and is all muscle but has been told his whole life that he needs to gain weight. As a baby, the doctor even did unnecessary blood tests on him because he was meeting up to the number on that weight chart, even though he was gaining weight. I think it is time that we stop letting that number on the scale determine our happiness or who we are.

Throw away your scale
 It is time to throw away your scale or maybe just hide it. That's what I did many years ago. I have a scale but I stopped weighing myself five years ago and instead started focusing on health and not a number. I look back and wished I had done that sooner. I wished that I had focused on a healthy body and not a number on the scale when I was younger. I wished that I had focused on exercise as a thing my body needed and not a punishment for eating too much. I wished I had not focused on calorie counting and instead on nourishing my body with the nutritional food that it needed. I wish I had body positivity when I was younger and loved my body no matter what size it was.

I wished that I had focused on a healthy body and not a number on the scale when I was younger

Do you love my new running skirt? It is so comfortable and I wear it even when I am not working out. This pretty skirt comes in sizes to fit everyone. Check it out HERE so you can get one.

 Focus on health and not weight
 When I started to focus on health and weight, a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders. I started focusing on feeding my body healthy food, most of the time. I still enjoy things like cookies, and candy but they are for after I eat my nourishing food. I focus on eating food from the farm and not the factory. I now exercise as it makes my body feel good and helps my lungs work better. It is amazing how 30 minutes of a high-intensity workout gets the gunk out of my lungs from my asthma symptoms. Eating food that my body needs and not ones that make my body sick like dairy and exercising helps me to control my asthma without prescription medicine. Sure I still have asthma attacks from many other triggers like smoke, pollution, weeds, and chemicals but keeping my body healthy means I can manage them better.

Breathing in peppermint oil or menthol helps my lungs to open up when I have an asthma flare-up

A dairy allergy was causing my asthma to be out of control

Teach your body to love healthy food
  Now that you are learning to love your body and not that dumb number on the scale, it is time to treat your body with love. If you want your body to feel good and be able to do things like walking, playing, and not ache, then give your body what it needs. Be kind to your body. I think most people treat their stuff like a car, a job or even another person better than they treat themselves. You would not give your car bad gasoline or not drive it for long periods of time as it would not work properly. So why do we expect to be able to put crapy food into our bodies and expect to not feel sick, tired, or have body aches? Why do we expect that we can be way too busy and not have the need for exercise? Then expect our bodies to feel good and not tired?  We don't need to obsess over exercise and eating healthy food, we just need to make them a lifestyle just like going to work and sleeping. If you don't have a lot of time then you need to learn how to sneak exercise into your busy day. I talk a lot about fitness because I enjoy it and it makes me feel awesome! I share my healthy tips because I want everyone to feel amazing!

 Healthy food does taste good and you have to give it a chance. Your taste buds have been deceived with chemically processed food. How much better would you feel if you were eating whole, nutritious foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein to supply your body with energy that lasts throughout the day? Give the nourishing food a chance and allow your taste buds to enjoy it. Trust me, the more you eat good food like an apple instead of sugary sweets, your body will start to like them. If I had a choice between a slice of everything spice bread or a cookie, I would reach for the bread as that is what I enjoy better. I find that with eating healthy food that has fiber and nutrients, I don't need to count calories as my body gets satisfied.

So why do we expect to be able to put crapy food into our bodies and expect to not feel sick, tired, or have body aches? 

What is the best exercise to stay fit and in good health?

Look at fitness in a new way
  Instead of looking at fitness as a chore start looking at it as something that makes your body feel good. Look at your exercise time as something powerful that your body is able to do. Exercise for me makes me feel good, look good, and keeps my asthma symptoms away. At 54, I have no medical problems like so many of my friends do. I do not have arthritis or high blood pressure. I started to go through the "change" or menopause and have not had any symptoms like hot flashes or weight gain thanks to exercise and healthy eating. So if 30 minutes a day of exercise and eating healthy food leaves me feeling terrific than I will keep doing this program. I may not have the ideal shape as I have plenty of cushion around my middle but I am ok with that as I exercise to feel great. I know that making exercise and healthy eating a lifestyle choice will keep me healthy as I age. So don't exercise and eat healthy for a number on that scale but as a lifestyle choice.

Get healthy for yourself not to reach a number on a scale!

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Rosemary and Caramelized Onion Sun Dried Tomato Focaccia

Focaccia is a flat oven-baked Italian bread product similar in style and texture to pizza dough.

               I received a sample from Secolari to facilitate this post

 The other day my church had a celebration that included a cookout with burgers. I helped with the preparation of the food and that included slicing onions and tomatoes. While I was slicing the tomatoes for the burgers, I placed the top slices of the tomatoes aside so I could take them home. The top slices had the stems in them so they were not going to be used for the burgers and I hated throwing them away as I knew that I could use them in my cooking. When the church event was over there was also leftovers of onion slices and tomato slices, so I took those home with me. One of the perks of helping in the church kitchen is being offered the leftovers.

I thought of sun-dried tomatoes
  On the drive home from church, I decided to make sun-dried tomatoes with all the leftover tomato slices. This is my go-to recipe when I have an abundance of tomatoes as it is a great way to preserve them. I have a wonderful recipe for making sun-dried tomatoes in the oven that is so simple. I love tomatoes that are roasted in the oven as they are so flavorful and sweet. My favorite way to use oven-roasted tomatoes is on focaccia. I love using rosemary on my focaccia as it gives it a great flavor but my family is not too fond of the wood-like texture that rosemary has and the fact that the pieces tend to get stuck in your teeth. So I decided to use a Fused Rosemary Flavored Olive Oil. My favorite olive oil is made from fresh-picked rosemary leaves and has the full flavor of rosemary without the woodsy pieces. That way I get the taste of rosemary on my focaccia without upsetting my family. When my youngest saw this bottle of olive oil, he asked me if we could use it to make my Lemon Frosted Rosemary Holiday Sugar Cookies. That boy loves cookies and already is thinking of Christmas cookies. I told my son that since this olive oil has a light smooth flavor, it might be great for cookies.

         I love my new cobalt blue pans. This non-stick ceramic pan is a safe pan for cooking as it is free of PTFE & PFOA chemicals. Head over HERE to find out more about this pan that comes in so many beautiful colors.

Caramelized onions
 Since I had an abundance of onions, I decide to make a batch of caramelized onions. Caramelized onions are also great to use in my recipes like pizza and focaccia. When onions are caramelized they last longer in the fridge so I would have plenty of time to use them in many recipes. I knew that my Secolari Rosemary Oil would be useful for sauteing all the onions and would give a unique flavor to my caramelized onions. Secolari makes so many gourmet Artisan oils that I know will add some intense flavor to my cooking. To me, quality olive oil is like a fine bottle of wine. Good olive oil equals the best flavor. So I don't skimp on that bottle of olive oil. You will love that this recipe is vegan and plant-based. 

Focaccia is like a pizza
 Focaccia is so similar to a pizza and is the perfect canvas to so many pizza toppings. So I decided that my homemade focaccia bread needed some olives. My favorite olives are black olives and green ripe California olives. I always have a can or two of these delicious olives in my pantry for snacking or for recipes. I knew that that the jumbo ripe black olives would add some additional flavor to my chewy focaccia. So I sliced the black olives in half. You can slice the olives anyway you like for this recipe but I thought that halved olives would give this homemade bread a cool look. If you like pizza, you need to make my Wild Mushroom Pizza With Caramelized Onions.

Fused vs infused olive oil
An infused oil is when the flavor or extracts are added after the oil is pressed which causes the oil to breakdown faster. When olives and fresh-picked rosemary are fused, cold-pressed, together at the same time, the result is a better quality flavorful olive oil.

Kneading dough is so relaxing
 I love kneading dough and find it to be so relaxing. It takes away any stress if I have any, but I really just enjoy the way it feels in my hands. I love making homemade bread and pizza when the weather cools down as the oven heats up the house. The smell of fresh-baked bread is a pleasing aroma that I also love. Have you ever walked past a bakery when they are making bread? It is one of the best smells in the world. The smell of bread baking in the oven is so intoxicating! Fall is the perfect time to make my homemade pretzel bread or honey whole wheat bread for sandwiches. 

 Once the dough rises, press it to fit a 13×9 inch lightly oiled baking pan.  Dimple the dough all over with your fingers and drizzle with the fuse Rosemary Olive Oil. Add the topping and press them gently into the dough. I love the art of making bread. To bring out the taste of the garden-fresh ingredients, sprinkle the focaccia lightly with some sea salt.

Bake until golden brown then transfer to a rack to cool

Yield: 12

Rosemary and Caramelized Onion Sun-Dried Tomato Focaccia

Focaccia is a flat oven-baked Italian bread product similar in style and texture to pizza dough.
prep time: cook time: total time:


  • 1 Package Dry Yeast
  • 1 Cup Warm Water, 110°F – 115°F
  • 1 Teaspoon Honey
  • 2 1/2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil, I love using Rosemary Olive Oil
  • 1 Large Onion, thinly sliced and chopped into small pieces
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil, for cooking the caramelized onions
  • 1/2 Cup Sundried Tomatoes
  • 1 Cup Black Olives,  pitted and sliced into half or quarters
  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil divided in half for drizzling over the dough


How to cook Rosemary and Caramelized Onion Sun-Dried Tomato Focaccia

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the water and honey. Sprinkle the yeast on top and allow it to stand for about 5-10 minutes or until foamy.
  2. When the yeast is ready, stir in the flour, 1/4 cup olive oil, and salt. Turn the dough onto a well-floured surface and knead until dough is smooth 5 to 10 minutes. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap, and let rest in a warm place until dough doubles in size, about 1 hour
  3. While the dough is rising, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet set over medium heat. Add the onion slices and cook until onion is golden brown, stirring frequently about 20 minutes.
  4. After the dough has doubled in size, remove dough from bowl and press it into a lightly oiled 9- by 13-inch baking sheet until it touches the edges. Using your finger, poke holes all over the dough. Drizzle the dough with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Let rest until the dough becomes puffy, about 20 minutes.
  5. Once the dough has rested, preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Lightly press the sundried tomato slices and olive slices into the dough. Sprinkle or press the caramelized onions into the dough. Drizzle 2 tablespoons olive oil over the toppings and bake for 20 minutes or until golden.
  6. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  7. Cut into pieces and serve.
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Created using The Recipes Generator

Friday, September 13, 2019

What To Expect When Switching To Sulfate Free Shampoo

 Making the decision to eliminate chemicals and switch to vegan hair care products isn’t hard.

      I received products from Nubian Heritage to facilitate this post

 I think making the wise decision to eliminate toxic chemicals from my home and body was an easy one for me. I was presented with the scary facts of what toxic chemicals like sulfates, parabens, phthalates, and petroleum can do to my body and I said yes to trying to have a chemical-free home. The fact that these chemicals were making my son's skin break out in a rash and making my skin extremely dry with dermatitis was a no brainer to me that I had to start using more natural body care products. Another reason was my asthma was getting worse and I knew it was time to say no to toxic chemicals in my beauty products.

  I said making the decision to improving my health with natural products was easy but the transition itself required some adjustments. Switching from products that I had been using for years and assumed were safe for my body to natural products was a learning experience but I was ready to make a positive impact on my health and the environment. Some natural, organic, vegan products were easy to switch out in my bathroom like SLS free toothpaste. Seeing the mouth sores disappear in my son's mouth was awesome. Even our dentist-approved of my son using fluoride-free toothpaste and he has not had any cavities since. Sure the cost of these products was overwhelming but I have learned how to make a wonderful Homemade Natural Lemon Drop Toothpaste and my son loves the lemon taste. DIY homemade products save me money but can be time-consuming so I will buy most of my natural beauty products and save money in other areas of my life, like making coffee at home.

 Some of the natural products that I find easier to buy than to make are natural deodorant and mineral-based sunscreen. I also buy room sprays with natural essential oils. I started my younger boys on natural deodorant so they never had to do an armpit detox. If you are considering switching to natural deodorant from aluminum-based antiperspirant, these tips on How To Switch To Natural Deodorant are very helpful.

  One of the recent beauty products that I decide to make the switch to was hair care products. Sure the detox period of switching from toxic chemical-based shampoo took some getting used to but once I saw the results, I was glad that decided to use vegan hair care products that were sulfate-free. My hair even looks better than ever. Here are some things that you can expect when making the switch to paraben-free shampoo.

 1. Less Suds
  The one thing that took me by surprise was natural shampoos don't have a whole lot of foamy suds.
 We are made to think that more suds equals better cleaning but that is not always the case. Traditional shampoos use sulfates such as SLS to create a rich lather with foamy suds. I had to learn to use plenty of water to work the natural product through my hair and not use more shampoo. Sure there were times I had to shampoo my hair twice but that was usually after I went a week without washing my hair. I still took showers every other day but I just did not wash my hair as it was not dirty.

2. Wash Less
  I learned that I really did not need to wash my hair as often as I thought as my hair was not dirty. We are made to believe that our hair needs to be washed every day to look nice but unless you are rolling around in the mud, is your hair really getting dirty? I typically wash my hair 2-3 times a week and my hair is just fine. Before washing your hair, try spritzing it with water first to revive the hair in the morning. If your hair feels greasy, then wash it. For me personally, less washing has made my hair not be so dry.

3. Changes In Oil Production
 Sulfate shampoos are designed to eliminate product build-up through the use of harsh chemical cleaners. That means that these shampoos can strip natural oils from your hair. When you switch to a vegan sulfate-free shampoo, your hair may initially begin producing too much or too little natural oil. For me personally, my hair got back some of that oil and my head was no longer dry and itchy. Stick with the natural shampoo as, after a few shampoos, your hair will adjust.

4. Changes In Hair 
  Your hair may become thicker and full of more body or even wavier. Traditional chemical-laden shampoos contain ingredients such as silicones and waxes that can build up on hair follicles. This build-up can block pores or weigh your hair down. This build-up can even prevent hair from growing. For me personally, after I started using sulfate-free shampoos, my hair went from wavy to curly. That was a change that I liked.

 This release of build-up can also do the opposite and make hair feel matted. This can happen when the silicones attach to your hair as the natural shampoo is releasing is trying to eliminate it from your scalp. This will last a few days as the build-up is being removed with shampooing.

5. No more itchy scalp
 Switching from traditional shampoo that contains sulfates, parabens, phthalates, petroleum, DEA, artificial fragrance or synthetic coloring to natural shampoo can relieve your itchy scalp. All those toxic chemicals listed above could be the cause of your dry itchy scalp. So when these toxic chemicals are gone so maybe the symptoms. I know that once I started using natural soaps, I know longer had itchy skin so I was able to use way less lotion.

6. May cost more
Natural and organic shampoos may cost more than their chemical rivals simply because the ingredients are all "real" and more difficult to source. If you were using premium shampoos already then you may not notice a difference in cost. In short, the cost is worth it for the health and environment benefits. For me, I would rather spend more money on natural products then spend money on medicine for my asthma or my son's eczema. You can save money by buying natural products that come in bigger sizes or stocking up on your favorite brand when they are on sale.

7. You'll Be Helping The Environment
 When you choose to use vegan, organic, and natural hair care products you will be helping our water sources. Fewer harsh chemicals down the drain are better for sea life and even us as humans. Those toxic chemicals will not be in the water that we may drink.

8. Try different brands
 Just like the traditional shampoo, you may find that one brand of natural shampoo may work better than another. So don't give up with the switch from toxic chemicals to natural products if one brand doesn't work. Try several brands until you discover the one that works with your hair type. Natural hair care products come in different formulas for different hair types and conditions. A brand that I like for my hair that tends to be on the dry side is The Olive Oil Hair Care Collection from Nubian Heritage. This cruelty-free line of organic hair care products is formulated with nutrient-rich Extra Virgin Olive Oil and other ethically sourced ingredients like nourishing Quinoa and vitamin-rich Moringa. I love that Nubian Heritage products don’t contain sulfates, parabens, phthalates, petroleum, DEA, artificial fragrance or synthetic coloring.

 I love how the Olive Oil Vegan Shampoo gently cleans my hair and leaves it soft and shiny. This brand also foams up and gives me plenty of suds. I love that I only have to use a small amount to get my hair clean. This organic shampoo also has a nice clean scent that comes from essential oils so it does not bother my asthma. Since this shampoo is made with natural ingredients, I could share it with my son as it does not bother his sensitive skin.

How my hair looks when it needs to be washed

 When my dry hair is screaming for moisture, the joys of living in the desert, I will use Nubian Heritage Olive Oil Vegan Deep Condition Masque. This deep treatment masque gives my hair intense moisture that leaves my hair smooth and silky.

The Nubian Heritage Hair Care Collections are available at Vitamin Shoppe, VitaminShoppe.com, and nubianheritage.com

 Since switching to organic shampoo, I have noticed that my hair has a nice curl to it after I wash it. When I wake up in the morning, my curls are gone. So I take a mister bottle filled with water and spritz it on my hair. The moisture revives those curls and then I use Nubian Heritage Styling Mousse to add more definition to my natural curls. This unique product is enriched with extra-moisturizing Olive, Moringa Oils, and nutrient-rich Quinoa that helps tame the frizz that my curls get from the dry weather of the desert. I might complain about the dry desert but my hair doesn't like humidity either. My curly hair gets very poofy when we do get rain. Natural hair care products have been a blessing to my hair and my health. I am glad that I decided to make the switch. I now dislike using traditional hair care products on my hair and will even bring my organic vegan products with me when I stay at hotels, even though the hotels provide free body care products.

Have you considered switching to natural hair care products?

FREE Reign Energy Drink

Receive ONE (1) FREE Reign Energy Drink, any variety (16 fl oz). Available in most stores.

Limit of one coupon per household. Digital Coupons and paper coupons may not be combined on the purchase of a single item. Specially marked items, such as Clearance or Manager’s Specials may not be eligible for Digital Coupons.

Exp 09/29/2019

This Friday, September13th, 2019– ONLY, you can load a coupon to your Kroger (or Affiliate) Plus Card for a FREE Reign Energy Drink
Although 09/06/2019 is the only day that you can load the coupon, the coupon offer is redeemable through 09/292019

What is the Free Friday Download?
Every Friday, you can download a digital coupon for a FREE item! This offer is available exclusively to Customers with a Smiths Food and Drug or other Kroger store reward card.

How does it work?
Visit this page on Fridays.
Download the digital coupon for the product between 12am-11:59pm PT. You can view your coupon under the "My Coupons" section of your digital account or the Mobile App.

Redeem your coupon in-store within 2 weeks.
Your coupon will automatically be applied at checkout when you use your Shopper's Card.
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