I’ve stopped ‘pooing…

That’s ‘poo as in short for shampoo. I haven’t used shampoo to cleanse my hair for the past 9+ months!

I know what you are thinking, “What the what?!”  But I’m truly pleased with how well this works.  It’s natural, it’s cheap and I would normally have the necessary ingredients on hand anyway.  I also like that I am not consuming as much packaging and not adding extra chemicals or detergents to our water system.  I have somewhat thick hair that is moderately curly and hangs just past my shoulders.  *Update* I just had all of my hair cut off today.  I originally started the draft for this post over a month ago.  My hair tends toward being frizzy while my scalp tends toward being oily.  In fact I have suffered from  seborrhoeic dermatitis on my scalp since I was a little kid.  I started using sulfate free shampoos and conditioners more than a year before I went no ‘poo.  That helped my seborrhea somewhat but I still had regular flare ups.  I did some research and found a lot of information about going no ‘poo and using the baking soda/apple cider vinegar method.  (I’ll include some good, educational links at the bottom of this post.)  Once I got through a brief adjustment period, the no ‘poo method had all but cured my seborrhea.  And I feel better about the ecology and economy of no ‘pooing.

No ‘Poo Ingredients (Not the bananas. Those were incidental, although I’ve heard they are a great natural conditioner. Hmm, may have to try that.)

I cleanse my hair about two times per week with a mixture of baking soda and water with a few drops of Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castille Liquid Soap in peppermint and a drop or two of tea tree oil.  (I also use Dr. Bronners peppermint and tea tree oil diluted with water as my everyday bodywash.  Dr. B’s is the BEST!  It lasts forever and the peppermint is so tingly and refreshing.)  After I cleanse, I condition my hair with a mixture of apple cider vinegar and water.  On off days I usually just rinse my hair and massage my scalp under the shower to distribute the natural scalp oils.  I find it’s also good to give my hair a good brushing from scalp to tip on days when I am not rinsing or cleansing to help distribute the natural oils.  This keeps my hair and scalp looking and feeling healthy.

The ratios of baking soda to water and AC vinegar to water depends on your hair type.  From what I’ve read, use more baking soda if you tend to have oily hair and use more AC vinegar if you tend to have dry hair.  I tend to have oily scalp but dry hair so I just play around with the ratios until I get it the way I like it.  I can definitely tell when I don’t use enough AC vinegar in my ratio.  My hair is smooth and shiny when I have about a 1:1 or 1:2 ratio of AC vinegar.  I use about 1:3 or 1:4 ratio of baking soda to water for the cleanse and add a few drops each of Dr. Bronners and tea tree oil.  I store both mixtures in small, refillable bottles and keep them in my shower.

The only drawback that I’ve found with the no ‘poo method is that I cannot use the the styling products that I used to use.  It’s been an adjustment to find the right products to use now.  You see, I now cannot use any products containing silicone.  Basically any haircare ingredient that ends with -one or -cone is a silicone.  Silicone is the wonderful elixer that makes hair shiny and reduces frizz.  It’s in most anti-frizz serums and in many if not most conditioners and styling products.  But the only way to get silicone out of hair is with surfactant-based, traditional shampoos.  With the no ‘poo method, the silicone products will just build up on the hair and make it appear dull, dry and unhealthy.  I’ve found two products that I like so far and I’d like to try others but I don’t want a collection of bottles and tubes hanging around my tiny bathroom.  So, until I run out of what I have or come across sample sizes of new products, I’m sticking with what works so far.  Namely, Yes to Carrots leave-in conditioner and Aveda Confixor liquid gel.  I use both after I cleanse or after I rinse.  On days where I don’t cleanse or rinse, I just use water and my hands to get my curls to behave.

Here are a few very informative blog posts about the No ‘Poo method:

Simple Mom

Crunchy Betty

Beautiful Somehow

What are some things (weird or otherwise) that you do in an effort to be more green, healthy or to save money?

Learning to Jog and My First 5K

Today I will run my first 5K race.  I started jogging on January 4th, about five and a half months ago. I began with a Couch To 5K program using an app on my iPhone. The first few times I alternated jogging for 60 seconds and walking for 90 seconds. Each week, the Couch To 5K program helped me lengthen the amount of time I was jogging.  Right now, I am not quite up to a full 5K in training.  My plan is to do a jog/walk starting with at least a half mile or more of jogging followed by walking the remainder of the first mile. For the second mile, my goal is to jog the entire mile without any walk breaks. That might be a challenge since I’ve never done a full mile without walking in my training. But I’ve come very close and I feel like this is a great opportunity to challenge and push myself just a little bit extra. Next, I plan to walk for about a half mile and then finish the last half mile jogging. This 5K is at the Cleveland Zoo which is known for having a pretty challenging hill. Yikes! I’ve never run hills before.

To prepare for the 5K, I’ve made sure to get a good night’s sleep for the past two nights and I’ve been careful to eat healthy food that will not make me feel weighed down.  I’ve done a little research and I’ve planned a smart breakfast for The Fella and me: Half an english muffin with half  of a Tablespoon peanut butter and a banana.  I’m also going to drink water before the race and I’m choosing to carry a bottle of water that is half frozen during the race.  A lot of people hate the idea of carrying something while running.  But I recently found out that I have problematic vocal cords and sipping water when my throat is dry or when I am feeling tense is a good way to keep my airways clear.  I’ve carried water in training the past few times and I’ve found that I really don’t mind it and on hot days (like today) I really need it.

The 5K I am doing today is the Purple Stride race to raise money for pancreatic cancer research. I lost my grandfather to pancreatic cancer and The Fella’s dad is currently battling it. We also lost the father of a very close friend to the disease just over three years ago. I feel good about participating in this event. For more information, please check out http://www.pancan.org/.

I’ll be sure to post an update after the race to let you know how I fared.

Tremont Farmer’s Market Review

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As promised, I hit up the Tremont Farmer’s Market tonight, along with my BFF and her kids.  The market is located at the west side of Lincoln Park, along W14th and runs Tuesdays, 4pm-7pm .  We arrived around 5pm and had no trouble finding parking around the perimeter of the park.  We were lucky to have a beautiful, sunny 75F degree afternoon.

The Tremont Farmer’s Market offers a varied mix of vendors selling locally grown produce, prepared foods such as cheese, tomato sauces and pierogies, non-food items like handmade accessories and skin products, and of course there were various Cleveland food trucks.  I’m sure I’ll be back later this summer to check out the food trucks at this market but for tonight, I was looking for something to grill.  (Did I mention that The Fella gave me a fancy new grill for my birthday last week?  Squee!)  It is still early in the growing season and that affected the selection of produce.  There were many vendors selling various lettuces and greens.  I picked up a bunch of garlic scapes from the Valley City Fungi stand.  I was thinking of picking up some oyster mushrooms as well but the vendor advised me that they don’t do very well on the grill.  I also bought hot Caribbean curry powder from Spice Hound, golden delicious apples from Morning Dew Orchards, goat feta from Lucky Penny Creamery , doz. fresh eggs from an Amish stand (can’t remember the name), and finally, I bought this amazing salad mix and I am mad at myself for forgetting the name of the vendor!

As you can see from the slidshow above, we combined most of my market purchases with a few items we already had (including a household favorite, Field Roast vegetarian sausage) to create a delicious dinner for about 460 calories.

Which farmer’s market should I hit up next?