Monday, January 30, 2012

Healthy Cleaning


I make a lot of my own cleaning products. I have two little boys- one with severe chronic asthma- so I can't afford to be pouring chemicals around. My little guy needs a clean house (which is not always easy with toddlers) and clean air to breath.

So, we have air filters placed around our house. Spontaneously. And I use household items to make most of our cleaning supplies.

For instance, to scrub out bathtub, I make a paste out of dye-free/scent-free dish soap, baking soda, and a teensie bit of water. Works like a charm. Instead of using bleach, we use peroxide. It cleans in the same way as bleach, but does not have harmful fumes. The one scented cleaner I can use is Dreft. And oh my heck, do I love to do laundry with Dreft. It takes stains out of everything. I mean EVERYTHING. I'll prove it later.

The problem with cleaning with household materials, is that my house never gets the chance to smell clean. I learned from my mom (who took a Somatic Archeology and Aromatherapy certification) that lemon oil and lavender oil actually have disinfecting properties. Not only that, but when you buy something that is "pure certified" or whatever the heck you oil people call it, it's completely safe to breathe.

Side note: this may not be true for all kids with asthma. Don't jump right into this without giving it a little test first. Keep your nebulizer close. With my son, who has severe allergies to EVERYTHING (it seems), he does not have a problem with what I am about to tell you.

So here is what I do. On cleaning day, I set a pot of water on the stove (about medium heat) to lightly simmer (you don't want a boil, or even a rapid simmer. The oil evaporates too quickly). When the water is heated, I drop a couple of drops of lemon oil in the pot. All of the sudden, my kitchen not only looks clean, but smells clean. I've noticed that I can do this any time in the week when we have a bad diaper, and it eats that bad smell right up. It doesn't cover it up.

It takes about 5-10 minutes for the oil to completely dissipate. Then I take the pot off the stove.

Occasionally I experiment. This week I tried a combination of orange oil, lemon, and grapefruit. Our kitchen smelled like citrus heaven.

When I need a little extra oomph in the bathroom, I put some oil in my Scentsy warmer and let it dissipate. (I don't know if I'm allowed to say that. I sell Scentsy, but I can't warm it in my house because of my little boy. So I buy cute warmers and warm oil in them).

I buy DoTERRA because my Auntie sells it, but you can honestly use any "pure" oil. Some can be found in the organic section at Fred Meyer. If you live in Pocatello, ID, Time Laboratories in Old Town is a good place to buy oils. They are a great local business, so I encourage you ALL to support them. I believe there is also an Essental Oil company called Young Living. The founder is crazy, though (seriously, he delivered his wife's water birthed baby in a bathtub and left it there until it drowned. Don't quote me, I read the story 3 or so years ago).

Smoothie Time

Good thing the last time I blogged was in October.

I've been working out regularly. To enhance my work outs and boost my energy, I decided I needed to increase my protein intake. Honestly, I'm not a big meat eater. I could easily be a vegetarian if Texas Roadhouse didn't call my name every few months. I don't like to eat dairy products. To top it all of, I have a mild gluten intolerance. As a result, I don't get a lot of protein.

I decided to remedy this with protein smoothies for breakfast. I bought a whey protein that doesn't aggravate my gluten allergy. I work out early in the morning so breakfast is the perfect time for me to consume my protein. I am, however, a picky eater. Not extremely, I will try new foods. I don't write off foods that aren't prepared well. I just know what I like and what I don't. I don't love the taste of any protein powder. That is that. So, I need to develop recipes that taste like smoothies, not protein.

So, here is my first stab at a protein smoothie recipe. It's not perfect, I can still taste the protein. But, it is pretty delicious.

Strawberries & Cream Protein Smoothie:
1 Scoop Vanilla Whey Protein
1 Package (the kind you put in a 16 oz water bottle) of Strawberry Crystal Light
3-4 Large Strawberries
1 Banana
1 tsp Vanilla
8 Ice cubes
1 1/2 Cups Skim Milk

I blended everything together until all of the ice was crushed and my blender was creating a swirly vortex of doom. It was tasty. I have since tried similar recipes with the cherry (DON'T DO IT! It tastes like Pepto), orange, and peach mango. Nothing since this recipe has tasted as g00d. I can taste too much protein in my other experiments so I'm going to continue to experiment. When I find something I like, I'll post again.