Wednesday, March 26, 2014

DIY: Homemade Toothpaste

Late one night, I stumbled upon this article in Sweat Equity Magazine about "what is really in your toothpaste". It was written by a super sweet and well informed friend that is a nutritionist/yoga instructor/healthy living queen. As soon as I read it, I knew it wouldn't be long before I was adding toothpaste to my list of "homemades".
From her article:
Toothpaste composition is dependent on the type of toothpaste and the manufacturer.  Here are some of the major offenders in popular commercial toothpaste:

Sodium lauryl sulfate: A foaming agent linked to cancer, developmental and reproductive toxicity.  It can also cause mouth ulcer, cold sores, and skin and eye irritation.

Triclosan: A preservative and cosmetic biocide (chemical agent), also known as a pesticide, that has been linked to allergies, endocrine disruption, hormonal inbalance, and organ system toxicity.

FD&C Blue 1, D&C Yellow #10 and D&C Red #30:  Synthetic dyes and artificial coloring produced from petroleum or coal tar sources and linked to tumour growth. Artificial colours have also been linked to ADD and ADHD type symptoms.

Fluoride: Fluoride is one of the more controversial ingredients in toothpaste. Many people concerned with their health and that live a natural lifestyle opt not to use toothpastes that contain it.  If you do use it, make sure to rinse well and spit it all out as fluoride can be toxic if swallowed.

Hydrated silica: An anti-caking agent that bioaccumulates in people and wildlife.

Polyethylene: Is the most common ingredient in plastic but is often found in toothpaste.

Saccharin: an artificial sweetener and petroleum-based sugar substitute that is carcinogenic.

Propylene Glycol: is used to clean up oil spills and in anti-freeze. It is a skin irritant and has been linked to hives.

Titanium dioxide:  is an inorganic compound used as a colorant in a range of body care products such as sunscreens and makeup, and also found in paint. It has been described as a possible human carcinogen.

Xanthan Gum: is a thickener derived from a bacteria that grows on corn and wheat which can affect people with food sensitivities.

This is another article with similar information.

I found this blog post from Wellness Mama while researching different homemade toothpaste recipes, and decided to give it a go. The difference in this recipe versus the recipe in Sweat Equity, is that this one is intended to actually remineralize your teeth, making them stronger and more healthy, instead of just clean. My awesome friend Kelley offered to bring some of the weirder ingredients, and make it with me, and I made her dinner. (Probably not a real fair deal, sorry Kel!)...

Homemade Remineralizing Toothpaste Ingredients:

  • 5 parts Calcium powder
  • 1 part Diatomaceous Earth (optional- contains trace minerals and silica. UPDATE: A reader noted that DE can be abrasive and is not needed with the baking soda, so if you don’t have DE… no worries!)
  • 2 parts Baking Soda
  • 3 parts Xylitol Powder- This ingredient is not completely necessary, but just keeps it from tasting bitter.
  • 3-5 parts coconut oil to get desired texture
  • Optional ingredients: Essential oils for flavor (mint, cinnamon, and orange are all good), Grapefruit Seed Extract, Myrrh and Trace Minerals
[Note: To keep things simple, I just use a teaspoon or tablespoon, depending on the size batch I'm making, so the above recipe would read 5 TBSP calcium powder, 2 TBSP Baking Soda, etc.]

We gave the kids the choice of several different essential oils to help with the flavor and they choose orange. (Just of note, I think one of the mints would have been better!) Also, we don't really use much in the way of sweeteners here, so I didn't have any to add. If I were you, and you were going to make this toothpaste, I would find some sweetener. If I were me, and I were to make this again, I would find some sweetener! Even a packet of Stevia or something.

The following pictures are terrible in the way of quality, but way too good for me to leave out. Lilly was the first to experiment with the new toothpaste. She is so daring and brave. Grady was skeptically supportive. It started well. Then after a few seconds...

...she thought maybe this wasn't the best toothpaste she had ever tasted...
...and finally declared it to be "So SCUSTING!!!"

Even after Lilly's dramatic review, both Grady and Bella tried it. Neither was in love. I am using it, and truthfully I don't mind the taste. I love the way my teeth have that "just had a cleaning at the dentist" (minus the sore gums) feeling. Bryan also uses it, but he would have preferred having it mint flavored. Orange breath just isn't the same as minty fresh breath...

Anyway, give it a try.
I'd love to know what you think!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Catch-Up Favorites

Good morning! Today I'm going to rock a good 'ole "favorite things" post, which really means it's a post about nothing. Feel free to cut out now.

We're starting with favorite pets per Bella's request (in no particular order of favorite-ness), and who knows where we'll end up... Here we go.

First up, we have breakfast! Thank you chickens!
On Valentines Day, Leafy laid our first egg. She is an Ameraucana hen, and she lays blue eggs. Fun, right?

Lacey and Rosie are also laying now, so we are just waiting on Zebra to get with the program. Grady is all about checking for eggs. At least once an hour, he goes outside to look in the nesting boxes. And even when we're out and driving home, he asks "can I go check for an egg when we get home?" It's the highlight of his life, I think.

Just for a little refresher: Leafy is in the front, she's the one that lays blue eggs. She does not resemble a leaf in any way, however Lilly thought her name was perfect for her...  Zebra is behind her, with the black and white stripes. Rosie is red, and then Lacey is in the back.

I'm not sure they wanted their picture taken. They all look slightly irritated by my intrusion. Either that, or they were wondering if my camera was edible.

Next up...
Bella was given some spending money for her birthday, with which she bought her dream pet.

 Announcing, Princess Cupcake.

She is the softest, sweetest, cutest little furriest thing ever. She squeaks and squeals, and we love her. And really, who wouldn't love a guinea pig that wears pearls?!? You are speaking my language, Princess!

It should be noted, the other Princess of the house (Princess Prickles) has found a new home with a lovely little family with teenage kids. I think she will be happy there. I'm happy that she's there, anyway...

Bailey is next in this list of favorite pets. He turned 8 yrs old on March 21st. We sang to him (several times through out the day), and Bryan bought him a highly offensive birthday gift- Senior Citizen dog food. I think this poor old guy might have preferred a grooming.

Speaking of birthdays, that's another family favorite. We LOVE birthday parties, and getting to celebrate friends. Our little friends, twin brothers, recently celebrated their 5th birthday with a barnyard bash! It was such a fun time. There were horse rides, and hay rides, and lots of friends and fun animals to play with.



Before anyone asks, the answer is yes and no. Yes, everyone in the family completely wants a whole bunch of sweet little baby goats for pets. Well, at least the kids and I do. But no, we will not be adding a whole bunch of sweet little baby goats to our current zoo any time soon. Sadly. Very sadly. Just look at those precious little kid faces.

It was a great time, and we so enjoyed getting to celebrate these two friends!

Our Classical Conversations Community celebrated Pi Day (March 14th) with a picnic at the park, and a few pies.

That's all for now, have a great weekend friends!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

New Titles and New Adventures.

This month we have donned a new hat. We have added another ball to the family juggle. And we are excited to be trying something new. As parents, it's important to us to find something that each of our children enjoy, and that they are good at. So we are on that mission with Grady right now.

Grady is now a soccer player. And I am a soccer mom. Which, I think that sentence in itself means I'm supposed to have a mini van, right?!

Grady is by far our most shy child, so this season is going to be a bit of a challenge for him (and for his parents). He struggles with not knowing how to do something and not doing it perfectly when he tries. He has a hard time when he doesn't know anyone, and when he is out of his comfort zone... Hmmm, sounds familiar. That's hard for his mama sometimes too. So this new experience has been good for him, and for all of us, as we work on new skills physically and personally.

This past Saturday was his first game. He was nervous, as expected, but actually did better than I would have guessed. He had a fun time and stayed with his team, and truly, that is what is most important to me.

This was his shining (and favorite) moment of the day. His kick. He came running back to me, all smiles, saying "Mama! Did you see my kick?!" And all the way home, he talked about his "kick". 

 It was a good kick, and this mama is proud of him for trying something new. 

He did his best and had fun, which is really the most important thing to me.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Strawberry Fields Forever

So while our northern friends and family are battling ice and snow, it's strawberry pickin season here in good 'ole sunny Florida. And this bunch LOVES strawberries!

While the boots with shorts may be questionable, there are few things as beautiful as a man that loves his children, and truly wants to spend time with them .

And now we shall enjoy some strawberries and cream over "angel cake".
Enjoy your day, whatever your weather!