Natural deodorants that work

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Do you put much thought into the type of antiperspirants or deodorant you use?  Maybe not as much during the cooler weather as in the summer months, but, it’s still something most of us use on a daily basis.  Unless you have a serious issues with sweating or your skin is sensitive, you may not give deodorants a second thought.  I’ve been wanting to tell you about my favourite deodorant for a while… because it’s so exiting :) 

I didn’t think much about them either until many years ago when my underarm area became really itchy and irritated.  I know… yuck!  At the time I was using Secret antiperspirant.   Coincidentally when this happened I had been at the lake and I’d been swimming and laying on the beach tanning :)  I thought at first I had some kind of a rash from the sand or I had been bitten by some little critters.  The itchiness persisted and because it was under both arms I decided to stop using the Secret antiperspirant I had been using for years thinking it was more likely the cause of the irritation. 

I decided to try one of the  mineral salt rocks.  I remember it took a bit of getting used to, but, my skin under my arms over time cleared right up.  The mineral salt rock was easy to use.  I don’t know if you’ve seen them, but, they look like large crystals and sometimes are sold in a little satchel for storing purposes or inside a plastic holder like a standard deodorant stick.  Basically you wet the rock and then rub the rock under your arms.  That was it.  After a time my body became accustomed to it and I didn’t notice any odour… and no one mentioned to me that I stunk :)  The only thing with the mineral salt is that it didn’t help with perspiration.  You would still sweat, but, you wouldn’t stink!

All natural deodorants that work

There is a huge market now for products that claim to be “natural” and among skin care products, deodorants and antiperspirants are one of them.  I don’t buy something because of the “natural” claim.  That really means nothing.  Everything when broken down to its most basic form is a chemical either man-made or organic.  What I look for is the ingredients that I want to avoid not being on the ingredient listing. 

I had obviously become sensitized to the antiperspirant and was having a reaction.  I’m sure years ago when I had this reaction there was already talk about avoiding aluminum in your skin care products, because of a link to dementia.   So, that was also a bonus of using the mineral salt rock, it didn’t have any aluminum in it.   Eventually, after several years, for whatever reason I did go back to traditional deodorants.  Over the past few years I’ve become more concerned again with what I put on my skin.  I think it really hit me when I watched my daughter in her early teens lather her body with all the fruity smelling lotions and potions.  She’d come out of her room in a wafting, cloud of perfume and the boys would all be choking.  I became worried about all the ingredients that were being absorbed into her young body through her skin and all the toxins she was inhaling in the form of those synthetic scents. 

I wanted her and I to stay away from products that contain phthalates, parabens, avobenzone, triclosan, aluminum to name a few.  If you go to the MindBodyGreen website you can check out this great chart they have that lists 12 Toxic Ingredients to Avoid and why. 

By the way, the mineral salt rock I had years ago would still probably be around if I hadn’t dropped it… it splintered into a gazillion pieces!  Which is another bonus, they do last for years as long as you don’t drop them!

 All natural deodorants that work - Green Beaver Company Natural Deodorant

When I decided to get away from aluminum in antiperspirant, again, I went to my local health food store and bought a few different stick deodorants that are aluminum free.  Actually you can now buy many of these brands at your local grocery store.  I’ve used Tom’s,  the Green Beaver Company, and a few others.  My favourite so far is Hugo Naturals

Hugo Naturals

  • Made from 100% natural ingredients
  • Vegan
  • Soy free
  • Gluten free
  • Cruelty free

Never any: parabens, phenoxyethanol, sulfates, PEGs, propylene glycol, petroleum products, silicones, phthalates, synthetic surfactants, artificial colors or synthetic fragrances.

The one thing about these deodorants is that that’s exactly what they are… deodorants.  They have very limited ability to stop perspiration.  That is what the aluminum does in the traditional deodorants.  I haven’t found this to be a problem though.  The only situations I would kill for a true antiperspirant would be times of stress.  Do you know that your sweat makeup is different in times of duress?  It has a different odour and the perspiration is more difficult to control.  There are still times when I use my trusty Secret deodorant (no further reactions under my arms).  I learned my lesson just over a year ago when my sister got married on a hot, sunny day in August.  What was I thinking not to wear a good, strong, old stand by at a time like that!  Yes!  I do use products with the ingredients I try to avoid sometimes.  That’s what I mean about everything in moderation. 

All natural deodorants that work - Hugo Naturals Dual Action Deodorant

A natural deodorant that works and my favourite deodorant is the Hugo Naturals deodorant in the  Mexican Lime and Bergamot scent.  It has a slight citrus scent which isn’t overpowering at all.  Also the formulation is drier, so, when you rub it on it doesn’t leave your underarms feeling moist right off the bat (which I can’t stand).  Hugo Naturals calls itself a dual action deodorant, because, as they claim in their website the  “Pure Rice silk powder effectively and gently absorbs moisture”.  I do find that this brand starts off feeling drier and seems to keep me drier throughout the day and  might I add, for me, this includes working twelve-hour shifts in emergency.

What ingredients do you try to avoid?  Do you have a favourite deodorant that doesn’t contain aluminum?

Talk to you soon,


Motivation to workout in the fall feels good

I hope everyone in Canada had a great Thanksgiving weekend!  We got to celebrate my babies eighteenth birthday during the weekend because her birthday is October twelfth.  Poor thing, she’s always had to share her birthday with the big bird! Traditionally when it’s your birthday you get to choose what you would like for dinner, so, I asked Kelsi what she would like and she wanted the usual (thank goodness) turkey dinner with all the trimmings.   I made an old favourite for her birthday cake, it’s called Dreamy Creamy Cheesecake.  For being an old, family, favourite I hadn’t made it in years!  But, that’s one thing in common with Kelsi, Keith, and I… we love our cheesecake!  So, we had a nice quiet birthday slash Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday.  I was actually supposed to work the whole weekend, but, when we were picking our vacation time I had requested October twelfth off.  So everything worked out well.


It finally feels like fall here in Maple Ridge.  It’s rainy and grey outside.  The temperature has dropped significantly, but, it’s nothing I want to complain about!  I also feel like I’m back on track with working out.  I don’t know about you, but, for some reason when I’m in full summer mode I lose interest in working out.  I don’t know if it’s because I don’t like doing it when it’s so warm or what… I’m not sure.  I know I feel horrible when I’m not working out.  It doesn’t really make sense to me why I lose my momentum like this.  But it’s back on and I”m feeling good!  I look forward to my workouts again and I feel guilty if I miss them.  Working all the twelve-hour shifts really does take its toll and I’ve realized I just can’t be on a tight schedule with the workouts.  Because even with the best intentions, if I’ve had a real crappy, exhausting shift, I just sometimes can’t do it.  So, I don’t schedule myself so tightly any longer.  I workout on most of my days off and sometimes during the days I work, if, I feel up to it. 


I know that visiting my aunt and uncle motivated me again to stay healthy.  I see them every few months.  Now more than I used to for sure, and seeing my aunt in the condition she’s in is absolutely heartbreaking, but, it also moves me to want to stay healthy and use each day to its fullest.  Alzheimer’s Disease is cruel

Besides fitness, I want to eat healthy, and for me it means limiting my intake of sugar, eating more of a vegan diet, and taking a few supplements.  The supplements that I prefer to take were recommended to me by Dr. Mahmood.  He is a medical doctor and an acupuncturist.  I had acupuncture done by him when I was having severe pain a few years back due to being rear-ended in my car.  He recommended I take a turmeric capsule, omega three, and vitamin B50 daily which I am again, for their anti-inflammatory properties.  Reducing inflammation is super important.  I suppose if I ate enough of spices such as turmeric in my diet daily I wouldn’t need to take supplements.  Everything in moderation is the key!


Besides feeling motivated in staying healthy… I’m extremely motivated right now with home renovations!  We just had painter come by to take a look at all the interior spaces I need (want) painted… I can’t wait for the quote!  I’m dying to get this place painted, to get rid of excess junk, and to buy some new furniture!  I have a few projects that I’ve completed already with Annie Sloan chalk paint and they look great and are like new pieces.  I just finished my dining room table, but, I’m not quite sure yet if I’m going to do more to it.  Either way it looks better than it did.  I’ll be sharing that project soon!

Well that’s about all for now.  I have a few more days off work this week, so, I have to make the most of the next few days.  But for the rest of today I’ll workout, then some dinner, and probably after that I’ll  catch up with one of “The Real Housewives” shows for some mind-numbing fun :) online.

Any major renos going on in your home?  Which interior paint company is your favourite and how do you pick your paint colour when doing interior painting?

Talk to you soon,


My to do list is too long

Today is Wednesday and it’s my day off.  One thing I like about working shift work is having days off in the middle of the week.  I love having the house to myself, being able to get things done with no one is around to interrupt, and I especially like getting my shopping and errands done during the day when it’s not as busy.  Now that sounds all wonderful and that’s what I wish it was like today, but, for some reason I’m feeling a little under the weather. 

I’m still in my PJ’s, still writing my to do list, and not feeling very energized.  What I would like to get done today is number ONE workout (even if it’s a quickie), then… shower, Costco, Thrifty Foods, Langley Farm Market, find the second book in the Diana Gabaldon Outlander series that I’m rereading, phone someone about getting the interior of my house painted, take pictures of stuff I want to add to my Craigslist for sale ads, start my painting project, make dinner, read some blogs, write another post, and relax with my book that I need to find today!  Oh, I left housework off of today’s list even though it desperately needs to get done, but, there’s always tomorrow :)

I should have known things weren’t right yesterday.  I came off of my night shift, slept a few hours, and then woke up and got ready in a rush because my sister came over.  I actually slept longer than I’d planned to.  I just couldn’t wake up when my alarm went off.  It’s not that I wouldn’t still be tired after only two hours of sleep, but, the tiredness was more than the “norm” for me.  That should have been my first indicator that something wasn’t quite right.  Even though I overslept I had a good time with Liisa.  After I got ready we had lunch at The Big Feast, drove to The Passionate Home to buy some Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, and then bought a few things at the Village Deli here in Maple Ridge.  The day was unseasonably warm and we had to have the windows open while we drove.  Shouldn’t complain about that all! 

The Big Feast makes the most wholesome, home cooked (but fancier) food.  We love it there and so does my husband… I sent him this picture at work. 

To do list - out with my sister at The Big Feast

Then we drove to Langley to The Passionate Home, where I’ve bought Annie Sloan chalk paint before, for my other painting project.  I’m sure you can buy the paint at other home decor stores, but, I like checking out this store because they  always have a nice mix of vintage knick nacks and new things.  We came back and stopped in at the deli to buy some Finnish mustard that my sister is going to serve with her ham on Thanksgiving. 

To do list - buy Finnish mustard Turun Sinappia

I have lots of paint leftover from the table I painted a few months ago for my spare bedroom, but, I needed to buy another colour for my dining room table.  Sweetpea’s decided she’s going to stand on top of the table to look out the window!  She’s scratched up the surface, so, either way it needs to be painted plus I don’t like it very much any more, so, if it doesn’t suit the place when I’m done, I’ll sell it.  Sweetpea will be in big trouble if she goes near the table once it’s painted!  I have no idea what made her think this was acceptable :)

To do list - paint dining room table

No matter what else I get done today on my to do list I am going to workout!  It’s funny… my husband has no problem putting himself first, meaning he get’s his workouts in no matter what most days.  I need to do that too.  So, that’s my plan for the day… as soon as I’m finished here I’ll workout and then I’ll go from there.  I’m thinking I’m not going to get to everything on my list today, so, I’m really glad I have a few more days off.  That’s the great thing about working twelve-hour shifts, having more than two days’ off in between sets! 

How do you manage your to do list?  Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed by the number of things to get done?  Do you workout no matter what else needs to get done?

Have a great rest of the week and I’ll talk to you soon.



Alzheimer’s Disease is cruel

Alzheimer's Disease is cruel - my aunt holding me

My aunt is fourteen years old in this picture holding me.

I visited my  aunt and uncle last week.  My aunt is sixty-three years old and is on a priority wait list for placement into a care facility.  She has Alzheimer’s Disease.  She was diagnosed seven years ago when she was fifty-six years old.  She’d noticed symptoms for a few years prior to that and when the symptoms became too apparent to ignore any longer, my aunt and uncle started going to the doctor.  It took a long time and several trips to the doctor and eventually specialists to get the diagnosis.  My uncle was just about to retire when all this started.  Since his retirement, five years ago, he  has been her full-time caregiver. 

My aunt was still talking five years ago and was able to manage her own care.  Today she doesn’t talk.  Once in a while she may call out a word or a few words strung together, but, that’s it.  She needs help to dress, to manage her hygiene,  her toileting, and her meals.  She won’t climb up or down stairs any longer.  She’s afraid and she can’t figure out how to make the motion happen of lifting her leg up onto a step and then the next.  She’s now confined to one floor of the house and paces from window to window to look outside for short periods of time.  She no longer remembers extended family members.  Just a year ago she’d show recognition when she saw me, but, I don’t think she remembers me any longer.  Her moods are labile.  She still smiles and giggles a lot, but, can cry quickly especially when she gets help with her care… it’s as if for a fleeting second she realizes what’s happening to her and it saddens her deeply. 

My aunt is the youngest of three girls, my mom, being the oldest.  She’s only fourteen years older than me!  As I became older we talked more as friends and I knew how she feared getting Alzheimer’s.  My grandfather had Alzheimer’s.  I was a teenager when he was diagnosed and into my own self-centered, teenage life.  When he was finally hospitalized, because, he needed full care, I was already living on my own with my own young family. 

My aunt’s decline has been very aggressive and very rapid.  Because she was diagnosed at such a young age my aunt is enrolled in a research study at the University of  British Columbia for studying Alzheimer’s Disease.  The researchers are hoping to enlist my mom and my other aunt into the study as well.  Of course they are also requesting that my aunt’s children, my cousins also participate in this.  I’m not sure how extensive this study is and if they will want more of the extended family to participate… I imagine they will.  I’d definitely do my part.  Anything to find a cure!  When my uncle was reading me some of the disclosure information regarding the study, there was a statement that said, “you will not be made aware of any finding’s unless you request them and you are psychologically deemed fit to be able to handle the information”.  I certain would not be!  To me that would be a death sentence, basically knowing when I would start my slow and painful death.  I know that sounds harsh, but, this disease is TERRIFYING.  To me Alzheimer’s Disease is a cruel, slow death sentence that robs you of all dignity and leaves behind only a shell.  There is no nice and gentle way to say it.

Over the years as a nurse I have looked after many Alzheimer’s patients.  Now working in emergency I meet them and their families.  They come in to get help because they are in a desperate situation and they can’t cope any longer.  You lose yourself with this disease and your family loses you.  And we really have to remember that aging doesn’t have to mean dementia.  Dementia isn’t a normal part of aging.  On the one hand I see dementia taking the life out of someone way too young and then I meet incredible people well into their nineties and even one hundred and two-year old’s with all of their faculties in tact.  That’s how it should be.  I hope research really gets underway and makes some huge strides in this disease.  Our aging population is going to make all our health care facilities burst at the seams if we don’t do something now to try to find out what causes this horrible disease.  

Alzheimer's Disease is cruel - my aunt holding me

My aunt and I in 1965

I don’t want to dwell on what may happen in the future for me, because, that can be paralyzing.  Nor do I want to think of any of my siblings, or anyone I love being stricken with this illness.  Instead I want to concentrate on living a healthy life and do all I can within reason to stay healthy in MIND and BODY.  I want to do what I can to help research for Alzheimer’s Disease.  But this is also my motivation to eat a more vegan diet, exercise, and keep my brain healthy and active!  When I read about preventing dementia, a  healthy diet with less animal products and exercise is always recommended.  In one of my earlier posts, which you can find here, I mention some of the books that I have read to maintain brain health.  I wish there could be a concrete answer to what is truly effective and what is just wishful thinking.  We don’t know yet, so, if you’re in the same predicament as I am and my family, you can only do what makes you feel good doing.

Seeing my uncle look after his wife of over forty years with such patience and compassion really shows you what true love is all about.

Do you know anyone who has this disease?

I love my days off!

I love my days off , but, they sure go by fast!  I work twelve-hour shifts, both days and nights, so, I’m lucky enough to get more than two days off at a time usually.  The exception to that is if I work for someone else or I work overtime.  I’m sorry to say this, (to all those that do only have two days off) but, I could never go back to just two days off!  Even though the work days are shorter it’s still a day that you’ve been at work, so, how do you motivate yourself to get more stuff done afterwards?  My hats off to everyone that does manage which includes my sisters, my brother,  my brother-in-laws, and of course my husband!

Days off - Grouse Grind hugging tree

It’s been a busy few weeks even with my more than two days off :)  So, much so that I really haven’t gotten around to yard work and fall cleaning (yes, I like to do that probably more so than spring cleaning).  I’ve been doing other things such climbing a mountain!  My sister and I were both struggling this time around on the Grind, Grouse Ground that is.  I was never so happy  to see that we were getting close to the end.  It really is a mental thing when you work out!

Days off - ALS crash cart

I did my ACLS (advanced cardiovascular life support) training again.  This is a regular thing for us critical care nurses.  It’s a stressful few days for most of us even though we practice the skills most days at work.  We think they purposely increase the stress level for us to see how we handle it.  Which I guess makes sense, but, results in exhausting days.

Days off -Marimekko napkins

My niece came by and visited.  She’s busy in university, so, we don’t see her as often as we’d like plus my daughter and her are quite close.  She was in Finland for a month this summer, so, she likes to bring me my favourite napkins, always in such pretty colours!  Love marimekko!

Days off - Burn scars on my hand

This is how my hand looks now after the incident with the sweet potato.  It took a good three weeks for the burn to heal.  The skin on my hand is new skin just like baby skin and very sensitive.  That I’ve got to say was an unbelievable experience!  It really set me back during the summer months on what I could get done.  Must say I learned my lesson!

Days off - Drinking wine blk and white

Then to top it off my daughter, Kelsi, tells me she’s going to Whistler for the day with her boyfriend, which is fine.  I mean I worry about them driving there because the Sea to Sky is well known for motor vehicle accidents, but, to go bungee jumping!  Really?  So, I did a bit of this while waiting to hear from her and to know she was okay.

Days off - The first step off bungee jump

When I got the text from her saying, “I survived,”  I was soooo relieved!

Days off - Bungee jump

But, when I saw these pictures I cried!!  Why do kids do this to you?  They are too young, too cute, too in love, and they fear nothing!

Days off -Healthy colourful vegetables

I don’t want anymore excitement for a while, please.  Love my days off and I need as many as possible, so, I can recharge for the next set of stress inducing adventures that I’m sure to have to live vicariously through my kids.  I hear one of them plans on sky diving soon :)

So, healthy eating and working out… here I come!

What has kept you busy over the past few weeks and this summer?  Have you ever or would you ever bungee jump?

Talk to you soon,



Can you keep your herbs fresh?

How to keep herbs fresh

I would like a way to keep my herbs fresh for longer than two days.  Is it possible?  So far I haven’t had much success.  Do you know of a way to keep your parsley fresh? 

I recently read that if you rinse your herbs, snip off the ends, and then place them in a container of water on your counter they will last longer.  I took some parsley, basil, and mint from my fridge crisper and I tried it.  So, my herbs had already been in the fridge for a day.  The basil was already showing some tiredness.  I still wanted to see if it made any difference in how long they lasted.

How to keep herbs fresh

I kept the herbs on the counter for two days.  The second day they were starting to look more limp and yellow.  I even changed the water in the container to help with freshness :)

How to keep herbs fresh

Some time ago I read another solution to keeping herbs fresh longer and that was to put them in a container of water into the fridge with a plastic bag loosely over them.  I tried it.  This didn’t work either and most of the time it was a spilling hazard as I have precious little space in the fridge most of the time. 

How to keep herbs fresh

Day three and they were done!

How to keep herbs fresh

I go to the farmers market and I can’t help myself.  I buy herbs and before I can use them all up there are in a wilted, slushy mess in the crisper of my fridge.  Keith can’t stand finding the bags of mush (I don’t blame him), but, I’m trying really hard to only buy what I need, and use up the oldest first.   But, I just can’t stand the thought of not having some fresh Italian parsley when I really need it :)

So, really do you have a great way of keeping your herbs fresh?  I need help and I’m fed up!

Oh I forgot!  I even bought some Tupperware containers once that were supposed to help with this situation.  They must be packed away somewhere because they didn’t work that great.  I should dig those out and give them another try… they weren’t cheap. 

Talk to you soon,