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The Skin Care Benefits of Whey

WheyIf you're one of the growing number of people concerned about the chemicals we use in our beauty care products, add whey to your list of natural alternatives!

When you open a tub of plain yogurt with active live cultures, you'll see a yellowish liquid at the top. You can either stir it back into the yogurt or wash your face with it! The liquid is called whey, and not only is it nourishing for your body, it also does wonders for your skin and hair.

Whey is the liquid portion of milk after the solids have been strained out. It is a complete protein with all of the vital amino acids.

If you make your own lacto-fermented dairy products such as yogurt or kefir, you're one step away from gaining this vital nutrient-dense food. Simply strain the yogurt or kefir through cheesecloth and watch the whey drip into the bowl. (See our Month Six Food Challenge for step-by-step instructions on making whey.)

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Making the Most of Your Natural Soaps

Natural SoapsWhen you invest in a bar of natural soap, you may pay more in the short run, but more than likely you will benefit in the long run with softer skin. Your overall health will benefit as well, since more than 60 percent of anything we put on our skin is absorbed into the body. (Chemicals found in personal care products are now being linked to breast cancer, birth defects, infertility, and more.)

If the soap is truly natural, chances are it is super-fatted. This means extra oils are included in the formula for moisturizing benefit. It also means the glycerin—the rich, moisturizing byproduct of soapmaking—is stirred back into the soap.

Chemically-derived, factory-made soaps take out the glycerin while including all sorts of harsh chemicals. Your skin pays a price, although many times we aren't aware until we try a more natural product.

The problem is that factory-made soap is cheaper and it lasts longer. It's cheaper because chemicals are less expensive than the naturally-derived ingredients found in natural soaps. It lasts longer because it is not super-fatted and the glycerin is removed.

The solution? Prolong the life of your natural soap. Here are three tips for making your soap last:

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The Benefits of Natural Light

Natural LightDo you suffer from mal-illumination? The term, coined by light-science pioneer John Ott, suggests that people are suffering from a lack of natural light much like those who are malnourished.

Our buildings are often dark, with few windows. Our lives are centered on computers and indoor tasks. A little outdoor time with access to full-spectrum light can go a long way toward boosting our mood and immune system.

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Twenty-Five Uses for Coconut Oil

Coconut Trees In the Philippines, the coconut tree is known as the "Tree of Life" because of its many uses. Its roots, trunks, and husks are used for construction materials, paper pulp, brushes, and much more. Coconut oil is derived from the copra, which is the dried coconut meat.

Virgin coconut oil contains abundant medium-chain fatty acids, which are more easily digested than long-chain fatty acids. Coconut oil also contains lauric acid, which is found in breast milk and has proven antifungal and antimicrobial properties.

Coconut oil contains saturated fat, which is the most stable of all fats, and as a result coconut oil does not go rancid when heated and does not form dangerous free radicals that can cause a multitude of ills.

Coconut oil, therefore, is wonderful to cook with and to eat. But that's not all! Here are 25 ways to incorporate coconut oil into your daily life.

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All-Natural Personal Care

There's good news when it comes to natural alternatives for personal care: With a few supplies and a little creativity, you can make your own personal care products. The possibilities are endless!

Supplies include:

  • Glass or plastic spray bottles (available online or previously used, emptied, and cleaned well)
  • Mason jars in all sizes (if using plastic tops, have a grease pencil on hand to label)
  • Liquid castile soap
  • Glycerin
  • Raw apple cider vinegar
  • Herbs such as nettles, birch, comfrey, lavender
  • Essential oils such as lavender, plumeria, tea tree, lemongrass
  • Rhassoul clay

Suggested sources for supplies:

  • Amazon
  • SoapGoods offers an abundance of personal care supplies
  • Mountain Rose Herbs has a wide selection of herbs, oils, rhassoul clay, and more
  • Vitacost offers an excellent variety of products, with one low shipping price for any size order
  • Check your area for organic buying clubs such as Frontier Natural Products Co-op
  • Whole Foods and other health food stores carry organic apple cider vinegar, essential oils, and herbs

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"I have been sick for almost 6 months now and doctors were not able to figure out why. I finally put it all together after going away for vacation for a week and suddenly my symptoms were going away."

– Anonymous

"I started finding myself sitting on the floor in rooms of my house and not remembering how I got there, what I was doing before, or how long I had been there."

– Brenda

"We had some water leaks in our home... we never thought we needed to clean out and remove the floor, the ceiling, or the drywall... my two small children and I have remained constantly sick for years in this home."

– Mia

"Both of my sons went downhill quickly and coughed for months... They both lost their ability to read, had profound vision disturbances, and had phenomenal gastric issues."

– Lee

"The ERMI mold test as well as your helpful articles and Toxic Talk Tuesday programs have helped us avoid a terrible mistake in purchasing a new home."

– Angela

"I was skeptical at first that these (natural cleaning) products would work, but they work better than the stuff I buy at the store! We will soon be moving to the personal care products as well!"

– Jennifer

"I'm new at this, but today I cleaned my bathroom with baking soda and vinegar. It's much better not having those strong chemical smells afterwards."

– Anonymous

"We were having a lot of health problems and had been to the doctor countless times... we had large circles of slimy greenish-black mold on the bathroom ceiling, where it had caved in a few months before."

– C.

"Our family has been out of our home for 9 months due to mold... I am so scared and weak from all of this. We have lost friends; family members don't understand."

– Anonymous

"My daughter started having digestive problems... heart palpitations... coughing episodes... muscle/joint pain... asthma/allergies... Her doctor finally advised me to check for mold in our home."

– Anonymous

"We all suffered from headaches, hormonal body temperature fluctuations, brain fog, fatigue, difficulty breathing, thrush, rashes, and yeast infections... we vacated our home two weeks ago."

– Anonymous

"In my moldy home if I left the wet clothes in the washer they would get musty very quickly and I'd have to re-wash... Sometimes I'd run a load, go to work, and they'd be musty when I returned that evening."

– Anonymous

"I've been living in a mold-infested home for 13 months... I was going CRAZY! Finally figured it out... Just a few days of recovering in a mold-free home and I feel AMAZING!!!"

– Lauren

" age 35 or 36 I started to become allergic to everything, and I got asthma at age 36... I went to doctor after doctor after doctor and was desperate for help, but nobody could help me."

– Mia

"I had been struggling with headaches, head fog, breathing difficulties (unable to get a full breath), constant scalp tingling, migraines, nausea, feeling spacey/detached, and severe itchy skin."

– Anonymous

"My daughter has had many blood samples taken to test for everything imaginable and her doctor just seems puzzled. Everything comes back normal."

– Anonymous

"The entire time we lived in our (mold-infested) house the kitchen sponge would get musty smelling within 3-4 days. It was so strange. I had to buy a pack of sponges nearly every week."

– Anonymous

"I knew it was mold, but doctors kept telling me I had anxiety. I was sitting in my office and could not remember who I was talking to, or what we were talking about."

– Brenda

"My symptoms persisted and eventually turned into lethargy and depression. At the age of 26, I required a nap every evening after work."

– Jennifer

This site is dedicated to a true friend and mother — Barbara Dell Kessel (1929-2009)