Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Guest Post: Easy Ways to Switch to a More Natural Lifestyle!

Disclosure: This is a guest post meaning I am not nor do I claim to be the original author of the article.

Easy Ways to Switch to a More Natural Lifestyle
By: Maurine Anderson

There are many benefits to be had by living a more natural lifestyle, which must be why more and more consumers these days are making the switch to purchasing more natural products and foods on a regular basis. Switching to a more natural lifestyle can make you feel better, strengthen your overall health, and oftentimes even save you money. If you’re interested in making the switch, here is your guide to switching over to a more natural lifestyle—covering everything from hygiene, beauty and diet to clothing and household cleaning. This list of tips is by no means comprehensive, but it does include essential tips that just about anyone can easily incorporate into their current lifestyle.

Hygiene

What have you been using in terms of soap, lotion, shampoo, toothpaste, and deodorant in your bathroom? If you purchase these items at your local grocery store, chances are that the products you’re using aren’t all 100 percent natural. Here are some techniques you can use to make the switch to natural toiletries.

Make your own products.

You can make just about any hygiene product at home with even just a few base ingredients. Here are some simple examples of how people make their own natural hygiene products at home (or use pure natural substances in the place of commercial products).

  • Soap. Switch to raw African black soap, or use diluted castile soap.
  • Lotion. Switch to an organic oil like argan oil or coconut oil.
  • Shampoo. Try the “no poo” method, which involves using a baking soda paste for “shampoo” and diluted vinegar for “conditioner”; or try making your own concoction at home using ingredients like coconut milk, castile soap, apple cider vinegar, honey, and jojoba oil. You’ll find a great many DIY recipes online to try (just make sure it’s pH balanced!)
  • Toothpaste. Try out an online DIY recipe that uses a few simple ingredients like baking soda, mineral salt, coconut oil, and essential oil, as this article outlines.
  • Deodorant. Try out an online DIY recipe that features a few simple ingredients like shea butter, coconut oil, beeswax, baking soda, arrowroot powder, and essential oil. Keep in mind here that you likely won’t find many antiperspirant recipes here, as many natural lifestyle enthusiasts shy away from using aluminum chlorohydrate (the substance in antiperspirants that keeps you from sweating).

Visit the natural beauty section of your local big box store.

Don’t want to spend the extra time and effort in making your own hygiene products? The good news is that many big box stores and grocery stores these days are adding natural beauty and cosmetics aisles, stocked with all kinds of natural products. This makes switching to natural hygiene easier than ever, and you’ll find anything from natural soap, shampoo, and acne wash to toothpaste, lotion, and deodorant in these aisles. And if that doesn’t satisfy you enough, pay a visit to a local natural foods store like whole foods and head to their beauty and health section.

Beauty
As with hygienic products, you can find natural cosmetics in the natural beauty aisles of your local grocery store, or at a local natural foods store. And then, of course, you can try making your own natural cosmetics as well. Here are some of the most popular methods for making natural cosmetics at home.

  • Powder foundation. Create a simple mixture of arrowroot powder and green clay (optional), adding cocoa powder for color. Apply with a foundation brush.
  • Eye shadow. Create your own eyeshadow using arrowroot powder and shea butter as your base, then adding ingredients like cocoa powder, nutmeg, beet powder, and turmeric for your preferred color.
  • Eye liner. Create a small jar of gel liner (for use with an angled brush) using activated charcoal and a few drops of distilled water. (Some recipes use additional ingredients like beeswax and coconut oil.)
  • Mascara. Use a thoroughly rinsed and cleaned mascara tube and brush as your container, and add a homemade mixture of ingredients like coconut oil, shea butter, beeswax, and activated charcoal.
  • Blush. Make powdered blush by combining arrowroot powder, beet root powder, and cocoa powder to create your preferred color.
  • Lip color. Combine shea butter, beeswax, and beet root powder to create a rich red lip balm.
  • Perfume. Add your favorite essential oils to the carrier oil of your choice (such as fractionated coconut oil or almond oil).

Food

In truth, an entire book could be written on the subject of eating naturally alone. (In fact, there are undoubtedly hundreds of books already written on this subject.) But if you’re new to the realm of natural eating and are looking for a few simple ways that you can make your diet more natural, here are a few tips:

  • Work with fresh ingredients and produce instead of buying prepackaged foods. For example, if you want roasted potatoes, buy fresh potatoes, olive oil, and rosemary instead of bagged frozen roasted potatoes.
  • Make it a habit to shop at your local farmer's market for fresh vegetables and produce.
  • Remember that not everything that comes in a bag, box, or can is bad for you. Frozen fruit and vegetables, for example, are still highly nutritious, and you can use boxed whole wheat pasta to make homemade mac and cheese.
  • Remember that the word “natural” isn’t regulated by the FDA, so you shouldn’t make your purchasing decisions around finding the word “natural” on food labels.
  • Make sure your food is sourced from safe farming practices, like the ones discussed here.
  • Drink plenty of water. As this article explains, it has more benefits than you might think, and it is an easy substitute for processed, sugary drinks. (If you’re missing the taste of fruit in your drinks, try making fruit infused water instead.)
  • Consider taking up canning. This allows you to enjoy your favorite fruits and vegetables all year round.

Clothing

Really the key to finding more natural clothing for you to wear is to know what to search for. When shopping online, for example, you’ll want to use search terms like “organic,” “non-toxic,” and “natural fiber.” Natural clothing is free of synthetic fabrics (anything other than cotton, linen, wool, silk, cashmere, or hemp) and of chemical dyes.

Household Cleaning
As for household cleaning, fortunately more and more grocery stores are stocking their shelves with natural cleaning products. Even still, it’s actually very easy to make your own cleaning products at home using household staples. For example, a simple all-purpose natural cleaner can be made by combining distilled white vinegar, water, and a few drops of your favorite essential oils in a spray bottle. The web is filled with natural household cleaning product “recipes” for you to try.

70 comments:

  1. Wow! These are some great tips that I may have to use myself. I wouldn't switch all the way over to a natural life style but I love you advice about soaps and lotions.

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  2. What an informative post. I use homemade goat soap for my skin. As for the foods, I use whole foods for meals and very little processed. Have to admit that I have not tried organic clothes as yet but do have some towels and pillows that are natural products.

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  3. Homemade goat soap is awesome, I love it! Organic clothing is quite expensive, but it is usually SO soft! My kiddos have some organic shirts.

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  4. I love all of these ideas! There are just so many ways that you can lead a more natural lifestyle. I have really been getting into essential oils over the past few years, making my own cleaning products, etc. I've loved using them! You have some great suggestions here!

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  5. Over the past few years I have really changed my lifestyle and now lean toward natural options whenever I can. I love essential oils and try to eat organic but that is about as far as it goes. I would love to start making my own beauty products but need to find where to buy the ingredients.

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  6. wow! so many great tips that I don't even know where to start. My really close friend was diagnosed with Uterine Cancer November 6, 2015 and she immediately stopped using the over the counter makeup and toiletries. We have no idea of all of the cancer causing ingredients that these things contain! I do prefer to use coconut oil instead of lotion. It actually makes your skin so very soft and keeps it from drying out. My fave!

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  7. I love all of these ideas! I have been meaning to try both the homemade deodorant and homemade cleaning products. Now that I have a little one crawling around my home, all-natural products are that much more important to me!

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  8. I love how much easier and affordable it is becoming to switch to better and natural options. I know that makeup is one that I need to get better at using a natural option on instead. We have been working hard to get away from processed foods as well this year.

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  9. Wow! These are some wonderful ideas - and I am saving several - Didn't know about so many of these - Very informative and helpful post - thank you :)

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  10. Neat tips for leading a natural lifestyle. I never would have thought of all those makeup ideas! So many options of different choices to make.

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  11. What an informative and interesting post!! I've been thinking of trying to introduce more natural products into my life and my family and these are very helpful tips.

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  12. Awesome post! Denmark has far less processed foods than other countries, so I mostly cook from scratch using whole foods, and I've been making my own cleaning products for years. I've also dabbled in making my own skincare products, but I haven't tried making cosmetics. I'm totally going to try making my own mascara and eyeliner. Thanks for the tip :)

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