For me, it was only two years ago. College was a time for midnight McDonalds runs, posing as study breaks. Taco Tuesday at Rosa’s was a necessity, and baking cookies to enjoy re-runs of Friends happened several times a week. Although I would never trade any of the memories during this stage of my life, I can say that this period was also my “unhealthiest” period. I didn’t care what the label said, as long as the price sticker was in my budget. Even then, I would eat out frequently because I didn’t have time to prepare meals. Sadly, Red Bull and coffee shots kept me awake, and random workouts and stress were my solutions to keeping the weight off. Since my life was so busy, and I was constantly finding ways to stay awake, or get everything on my plate finished, I didn’t realize how much time I was spending focused on me. I didn’t have the time or energy for anything else but myself.
I bring up the past not to say that I never eat a cookie nowadays, but to preface why I’m such a big supporter of clean living and eating. When I started to research the products that I use on a daily basis, I was shocked that I couldn’t pronounce half of the ingredients listed on the label. I found a lot of different chemicals in everything I used – from my face wash, to foundation, to shampoo, to laundry detergent. One Christmas, my sister-in-law gave me the gift of fresh and natural body products that she made herself (wow, right?). Now, I know that armpits and body odor aren’t the most glamorous parts of our bodies, but they deserve love as well! Her homemade lavender deodorant was the most wonderful discovery for me – it smelled amazing, lasted all day, and was easy to make. She also introduced me to a natural face wash, using oats, baking soda, and raw organic honey. I’ve always had a problem with my combination oily-dry, sensitive skin, and this was the first product that really gave me glowing, clean, and radiant skin. From there I started to either make or buy products that I could actually understand what was on the label.
Today I'm going to share with you the basics of what I've learned – simple, realistic and cost-effective ways to promote clean living in your home! There's so many great resources on clean eating out there, but not so many on clean living. So I'll be sharing my favorite places to purchase clean products for your body and home... and then tell you how to whip up two great beauty products in your own kitchen.
If any of you are like me, you don’t have time to sit and hand-make everything, or you can’t say you will honestly never eat fast food again. Life is short, and I can’t give up cupcakes for the rest of my days! What you can do is live simple and smart. Here are some basic ways that I have put clean living into practice when I shop:
- Read the ingredients. If you can’t pronounce it (or if you look it up and it sounds scary), then don’t buy it.
- Calories and fat aren’t what’s important! Look at the sugar content, saturated fats and what the first two ingredients listed on the label are. You'll get a good idea of what your buying just from those first two ingredients alone!
- Body products full of chemicals are just as bad as chemicals you ingest. If you're applying it to your skin, then it's absorbing into your pores. Your skin is your body's biggest organ – watch what you're putting on it!
Honest Company is my new favorite thing. Each month, I can pick five products for only $35... so awesome! Their products do wonders... from lip balms to cleaning sprays, Honest has a great variety. Their shampoo/body wash has drastically changed my thin, baby fine hair. I’ve had the thickest, longest, shiniest hair that I have ever experienced, and I only wash it every 2-3 days. Honest is also a great place to buy products for any of you moms out there – they have tons of great baby products! If you’re skeptical, they provide a free trial for the first month with five products of your choice.
Here are two simple body products you can make at home with only five ingredients and some old jars or containers. Perfect!
Sugar Body Scrub
Coconut Oil and Sugar. That’s it. Really, I’m not joking! I mix equal parts of Extra Virgin Organic Coconut Oil and Raw Organic Sugar. Sometimes I use brown sugar if I want a softer scrub, but regular sugar is a GREAT exfoliator, not to mention that it smells like heaven. If you’re an essential oils person like me, you can always add a little of your favorite smell (lavender, peppermint) for an extra kick of goodness. This scrub also provides an INCREDIBLE shave. Smooth, silky, and healthy legs.
Oatmeal, Baking Soda, and Honey Face Wash
To create this healthy and easy face wash, grab a tablespoon of oats to start and a tablespoon of baking soda. Find your favorite jar or container to keep it in (check out Target or Container Store) and a grinder if you have one. However you prefer (ninja blender, grinder, etc.) grind your oats into a fine powder. Mix into your container with baking soda, and you're done for now! To use your homemade face wash, just follow these steps...
- Grab a washcloth and soak it in hot water.
- Press the cloth to your face so it’s steaming all over it (but don’t burn yourself!)
- Repeat steps 1 and 2.
- Put a quarter size amount of honey in your hand, then pinch a good amount of the baking soda/oats mix on top of the honey, and mix it all together in your hands.
- Spread the mixture all over your face, gently rubbing into it your skin.
- Wipe off excess mixture with the wet washcloth, then dry.
- Enjoy your happy, healthy skin!
I believe that God has something to say about keeping it natural and taking the time to make sure you know what you’re putting in your body. If you you’re not operating at your best level energy-wise (getting enough sleep, giving stress to God, exercising, eating well) where will you find the strength to give time to others and invest in spreading His truth? That’s not an easy feat by itself! And when you mix in low confidence or energy levels, it makes it hard for us to focus on anything other than ourselves. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 3, “Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him. For God's temple is holy, and you are that temple.” In this chapter, Paul is talking about the leaders of the church and how we should build our foundation. We are God’s temple, and we belong to Him. I fully believe that we have been given a responsibility to take care of ourselves to the best of our ability, and commit ourselves to spreading the joy of His Kingdom, first by laying a solid foundation for our lives – in how we live and in our daily habits.
Romans 12:1 says, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
Images via Sarah Brooks
Sarah is an onboarding specialist (so fancy!) who just got married! She lives with her sweet hubs in Fort Worth, and Chris and I love getting to spend time with them. Sarah has been a dear friend since college – we were even roommates at one point! Sarah is such a strong leader and a powerful friend. I'm constantly humbled by her grace and encouragement. And just like the other contributors, she was recently featured as a Ruby! You can read her Ruby feature - and get to know her better - by clicking here.