Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Cultivating Natural

My Isaac, full of laughter, up a tree

In our family, we enjoy cultivating a natural lifestyle as much as possible.  Our children rarely watch TV; we send them out instead to play in the sunshine, climb trees and use their imaginations.  They go barefooted often and on warmer days my boys are usually without shirts.

For food, we eat as close to the source as possible.  If we can grow it, we try to do that as time allows.  If not, we try to buy locally when able.  We eat an abundance of fresh vegetables, fruit and whole grains.  Refined sugars and processed foods are the exception at our house as opposed to the rule.  If I can make it from scratch to avoid preservatives and chemically-laden pseudo-foods, I do.

We have a few simple phrases we like to repeat when deciding if it is edible.  For instance, "If Grandma didn't eat it, we don't eat it."  Or "If we don't keep the ingredients listed on a food in our pantry, we won't be eating it."  (Seriously?  Yellow Number Five?  What is that really, and do you want to ingest it??) 

And my personal favorite, "White bread makes you dead."  Take that one with a grain of salt; Kosher sea salt, of course.  There was truly a season when I had to get my toddlers to stop saying that in public.  A bit too inflammatory for polite society.

These things are simple.  We are not purists by any stretch of the imagination.  We keep these guidelines to serve our family well, to keep us healthy and strong; rather than for us to serve the guidelines and become enslaved by them. 

Lavender Tea Tree freshly poured last night into one of our handmade soap molds
Hand-crafting my own soap for my family, and for you, has been one more aspect of our healthy style of living.  In my continuing quest to live as close to nature as possible, I wanted to seek out a better way with soap.  Have you looked at the ingredients listed on a bar of soap recently?  Can you pronounce them all?  If not, they are most likely chemicals and not something I want to use on my family's skin. 

Here are the ingredients present in a completed bar of lavame clean's soap:  olive oil, coconut oil, water, essential oils and often an herb or spice from my pantry for texture and natural color.  

What's that you say?  You can pronounce all of these ingredients?  Good.  Because you should be able to generally recognize the ingredients in food you are eating or products you are using on your skin.  
Lavender Buds gracing the top of the Lavender Tea Tree soap
We will be delving more into the why's and how's of all-natural skin care in the coming days.  You'll definitely want to stay tuned!

Enjoy today,

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