Category Archives: Lifestyle

Spring Cleaning: 16 Natural DIY Household Cleaners

16 Natural DIY Household Cleaners

Now that we are all moved in to our new home, I’m quite excited to tackle some DIY projects for the house. Since it’s also Spring cleaning time, one of the most important and urgent next project is: making new homemade cleaning products! Even in our old home, I concocted various cleaners for the home using safe and toxin-free ingredients for our own health and the health of our dogs.

There are so many harmful and harsh chemicals and fragrances in typical store-bought cleaning products that are linked to a variety of illnesses, so I try avoid them as much as possible. Our livers are already so burdened by the types of food we eat, as well as environmental toxins, so we should all make an extra effort to give it a bit of break and love. The good news is, you can easily make so many cleaners at home that do not cause any harm but are just as effective (and so much cheaper)!

After doing a bit of research, I put together the cleanest and the most effective homemade cleaning product recipes that I love from my fellow bloggers! Hope they work for you as well as they’ve been working for me!

1. All-Purpose Surface Cleaner: Two Ways

Image via Live Simply

Both of these all-purpose cleaners use simple ingredients you probably already have at home and are so effective in cleaning the kitchen, bathroom surfaces, carpets, and some appliances. Depending on the type of surface  you’ll be cleaning, choose either the vinegar-based or the castile soap-based cleaner!

2. Disinfecting Wipes

A healthier alternative to Clorox® Disinfecting Wipes, which contains a long list of toxic chemicals, these homemade disinfecting wipes use vinegar and essential oils for a safer and convenient way to clean almost anything.

3. Homemade Dusting Spray and Wood Polish

Image via Nourishing Joy

This dusting spray comes in 2 different versions (regular and simplified), and it’s so great for cleaning furniture and wood without leaving residues. I love that it works on so many different surfaces!

4.  No-Streak Window Cleaner

Image via Whole New Mom

It took me a while to find a natural glass cleaner that works as well as Windex without leaving a film or streaks, but this window cleaner really does work SO well! You can use it on everything, besides marble, and I’m always so happy and satisfied with the results.

5. Non-Toxic Dishwasher Detergent Tablets

Using a combination of simple ingredients and non-toxic liquid dish soap, these dishwashing detergent tablets are so easy and convenient to just pop into your dishwasher and let them do all the work!

6. Liquid Dish Soap

homemade liquid dish soap

This liquid dish soap is my own recipe that I’ve been using and perfecting for years now and I still love it! It cuts through grease easily and doesn’t leave a residue on the dishes like some DIY dish soaps I have tried.

7. Best Homemade Bathroom Cleaner Ever

Image via Crunchy Betty

When it comes to cleaning bathrooms, I absolutely hate doing it, and I want something powerful so I can get in and out quickly. This homemade bathroom cleaner works beautifully and I’m able to do just that with it, while still using non-toxic ingredients!

8. DIY Natural Toilet Bombs

Not only do these natural toilet bombs look pretty, they clean the toilet like nobody’s business! I also love that they make the bathroom smell so nice with the addition of essential oils. Plus, it’s such an easy way to clean the toilet!

9. Homemade Anti-Mold Spray

Seeing mold build up in your home is the WORST. Nothing grosses me out more, so I’m so happy to find a recipe that not only removes mold, but prevents it from starting! This anti-mold spray is so simple and easy to make, but the tee tree oil in it makes it a powerful but safe anti-fungal for your home.

10. Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent

I have tried SO MANY homemade laundry detergent recipes in the past, and this one is my absolute favorite! It cleans my clothes just as well as the store-bought brands and makes A LOT for super cheap. I use castile soap instead of Fels Naptha soap, and love how great it works!

11. Homemade Dryer Sheet

There are so many harmful unnecessary chemicals in commercial dryer sheets so I stopped using them a long time ago. These reusable dryer sheets soften clothes and reduce static naturally with vinegar, and you can add your own scent to your clothes with addition of essential oils!

12. Natural Air Freshener with Essential Oils

Image via Hello Glow

Ever since I started making a conscious effort to avoid toxic fragrances, I actually get a headache when I walk in the store and pass the aisle with cleaners and air fresheners. This natural air freshener uses just 3 ingredients, and makes the house smell soooo wonderful with your favorite essential oils!

13. Natural Bleach Alternative

I know it’s a struggle for many people to find natural bleach that actually works. Well, look no further, because I couldn’t believe how well this natural bleach alternative took out stains from my clothes after an overnight soak! You can even use it in your washer, or as a cleaner for sinks, tubs, and toilets.

14. Grout Cleaner

Is there anything baking soda and vinegar CAN’T do? This DIY grout cleaner is so effective for cleaning all your tiled floors, and it’s perfectly safe to use. Grab an old toothbrush and get scrubbing, and you’ll have clean and sparkling tile grouts in no time!

15. Hardwood Floor Cleaner

Image via Clean Mama

Our new house has hardwood floors (which I LOVE), so I’ve been searching for a good, natural cleaner ever since moving it. This easy breezy hardwood floor cleaner recipe is so simple to make, and keeps our floors super clean and smelling nice!

16. Easy Homemade Carpet Cleaner

We don’t have carpets anymore, but our old apartment was carpeted and this easy homemade carpet cleaner was our go-to for stains and general cleaning. Especially with 2 dogs (one with skin allergies) who are laying on the carpet all the time, we didn’t want to use any toxic chemicals that they could be ingesting. This carpet cleaner worked beautifully every time for any kind of stains we had!

 

Spring clean your house with these toxin-free and natural DIY household cleaners!

8 Tips to Dining Out During a Sugar Detox

Dining Out During a Sugar Detox

No matter whether you are starting a sugar detox on your own, or you are joining a program like the RESTART program, 21 Day Sugar Detox, or the Whole30, one thing is clear: the best way to stay clear of hidden sugars and processed ingredients is to cook at home. However, the reality is that we all have busy lives or we still want to socialize at restaurants with our friends from time to time, and cooking EVERY one of our meals during the sugar detox may not fit within our lifestyle.

And hey, that’s totally fine!  One of the main rules of changing to a healthier diet or lifestyle is: Be kind to yourself. Don’t stress out about not sticking to the diet perfectly, but DO try to make the best decision possible with the options that you are presented with. If you are looking to learn how to do just that while dining out, follow these tips so you can still enjoy restaurant food while sticking to the sugar detox!

1. Pick the restaurant yourself and do your research.

If you have plans to meet with your friends, offer to pick a restaurant yourself. My friends know I have food restrictions so they just leave that up to me, and it usually turns out to be delicious!

Dining Out During a Sugar Detox2

Yelp will be your best friend. I always filter my search with words like “gluten free,” “farm to table,” “organic,” or “paleo.” These restaurants will be more accommodating to your needs in case you need to make changes to the menu items. You can even call ahead to make sure they offer a flexible menu and talk about your restrictions.

2. Ask about ingredients.

This might seem uncomfortable and intimidating at first, but the more you do it, the easier it gets! Ask if there are any hidden ingredients like breadcrumbs, cheese, soy sauce, or flour. If the server isn’t sure, she or he will just go back and ask the chef. And even better if the chef comes to talk to you directly, because they are usually willing to make a dish especially for you.

Another way to ask is if they have gluten free options on the menu, or even a gluten free menu. Half the work is already done for you if they do, and these menus are usually better about listing the ingredients in each menu item.

3. Salads are you best friend.

Almost any kind of restaurant will serve some type of salad, and this will be your go-to option. Make sure to let them know to leave out cheese, croutons, or any other ingredients that’s not on your sugar detox plan. Ask for protein choices that are grilled, and not breaded or fried.

If you are at a buffet, a restaurant with a salad bar, or see a build-your-own option, make sure to take advantage of that! You’ll have freedom with the ingredients you choose which will help you to make the best possible choices.

Dining Out During a Sugar Detox

4. Sneak in your own condiments.

Some of the most offensive ingredients are in sauces and dressings. Avoid artificial sweeteners, gluten, and vegetable oils by bringing your own. I have brought tamari sauce to Japanese restaurant, and olive oil or dressing if I know I’ll be having a salad. I like using travel-sized bottles to keep these in so I can carry them easily in my purse.

5. Hold the rice, hold the bun.

Dining Out During a Sugar Detox3

Don’t be afraid to let your server know that you don’t want certain items that come with your dish. It’s so much easier to avoid the temptation of eating them when they are not there, and the restaurant doesn’t waste food that way either.

If I’m at a Thai or Indian restaurant, I’ll ask them to tone down on the spiciness of a stir-fry dish or their curry, and say I don’t want rice. Making the dish a bit milder makes it easier to eat on its own. At a sushi joint, I’ll just order a shashimi or a salad that doesn’t come with rice.

Same goes with bread and buns. Just say no to bread baskets. If you are choosing a meal, burgers and sandwiches are a great option and it’s really easy get them bun-less (all the flavors are in the meat and fillings anyway!).

6. Ask for substitutions.

I used to be afraid to do this, but most restaurants are really accommodating about it and I have gotten quiet comfortable with it. I think food allergies are getting more and more recognized so it’s becoming easier to ask for substitutions while dining out.

Getting a burger? Ask for a salad as a side instead of fries. They’ll be sugar detox compliant with the dressing you brought from home! You can also ask for grilled or roasted veggies instead!

Don’t want to bring your own dressing? Ask if they can provide olive oil and vinegar instead. Fresh lemon is also a great choice to season your meat, salads, and more. If they have guacamole on the menu, I’ll order that on the side to use as my dressing and it’s delicious!

Do they use vegetable oils to cook their food? Most likely. Ask if they can use olive oil or butter instead. Most restaurants will have those two cooking fats.

Make sure to get creative! If you ask them to hold the rice on a dish, ask if you have extra veggies instead. There are so many options that can be easily accommodated once you start getting comfortable with asking.

7. Be super duper nice and friendly.

Seriously, be polite and grateful with your server and it’ll go a loooong way! Smile and be friendly because the restaurant will be way more likely to be accommodating with your requests. Also, be confident with what you are asking. As long as YOU look and sound comfortable, the people you are dining with and the server won’t make a big deal out of it either. Leave a good tip if you received exceptional service.

8. Don’t stress out too much.

Make sure to enjoy your meal and have a good time! If you weren’t able to stick to the sugar detox plan 100% with your meal, that’s okay. Stressing out about it will only impact your body negatively and you’ll have a much better result both physically and mentally if you can just practice gratitude for the food in front of you and enjoy it thoroughly.

Move on with your day, and keep practicing every time you dine out. Just like anything, you’ll get better and better the more experience you have!

What Great Grandma Ate / Jean Choi is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Regarding other affiliate links and affiliate relationships: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Thank you for your support and understanding.

Are you on the Whole30, 21DSD, or The RESTART program- Learn how to dine out during a sugar detox!

Safer Beauty Swaps: Popular Cosmetics

Safer Toxin-Free Skin Care Makeup Swaps

One of the reasons why many of us are hesitant to swap out our beauty products is because we are so used to and dependent on the ones we have been using for years. I’ve definitely been there with my favorite eye makeup and foundation.

However, there are so many toxic chemicals and endocrine disruptors in popular drug store and department store cosmetic brands, that it’s 100% worth thinking about switching to safer brands that won’t compromise your health, both inside and out. These ingredients include lead, cadmium, chromium, aluminum, parabens, and a slew of other chemicals that burden the liver and are even known to cause cancer.

Luckily, Beautycounter and other great brands provide safer and toxic-free options and they come with reasonable price tags. I was hesitant at first to switch out my products because “safer” sounded a bit too hippie-dippie to me and I was skeptical that they would stay on and work like my previous favorites. However, I was so pleasantly surprised that they look as great as my older makeup and last a long time, which means I didn’t have to sacrifice performance when choosing products that are safer.

After all, my top priority these days is to avoid putting anything in and on my body that may cause harm, and I want to inspire you to do the same. So I put together the following beauty swaps for the most popular top-sellers of Sephora. I have tried out all of the recommended products, so these are based on my personal experience. I hope this list gives you a better idea of what products to purchase next!

If you want to learn more about safer skincare, read about my personal experience HERE, and what ingredients you should be avoiding HERE.

CLICK ON THE PRODUCT IMAGES TO SHOP! 

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Want to purchase Beautycounter products on a discount?

The best way to save money on these high quality, toxin-free products is to become a Band of Beauty member! There are so many benefits to being a member and you end up saving so much money when you join and you can see it outlined below. Click below to find out more and join!

Band of Beauty Membership

Looking to swap out your products but not sure where to start?

You can begin by entering your products on EWG’s skin deep database. It lets you know how safe your current personal care products are by giving them a rating. If they come up yellow or red you really need to prioritize switching to something safer – for your sake and your family’s, especially if you have children in the house. Swap out the worst offenders first!

Can’t find a product? You can also search individual ingredients to see their rating as well!


Want to learn more about safer skincare, product recommendations, and beauty tips?
Join my Safer Skincare Facebook group!

Safer Skincare FB

 Safer Toxin-Free Skin Care Makeup Swaps