Monday, April 22, 2019

Tips for Transitioning to Natural Deodorant

So, I’ve raved before about my love for Primally Pure Charcoal Deodorant, and I get lots of questions about why I made the switch from conventional to natural deodorant as well as my thoughts on the dreaded “detox” phase (more on that below). Prior to discovering brands like Beautycounter and Primally Pure, I didn’t pay much attention to the skin care and beauty products I was using. I figured if it’s being sold in stores, it’s definitely safe, right? Turns out, I was wrong. Read on for my tips for transitioning to natural deodorant. 

Over the past year or so, I’ve worked hard to become more conscious of what I put on my body after realizing that a healthy, sustainable lifestyle isn’t only about diet and exercise. The products we purchase and use are equally as important. We focus so much on what we’re putting in our bodies, but what about what we’re putting on them? After all, our skin is our largest organ (with the potential to absorb up to 60-70% of what we expose it to), so shouldn’t we prioritize our skincare as much as we do the foods we eat?

One change I made was the daily deodorant that I use. While our pits are definitely not the most glamorous thing to talk to about, using deodorant is often a regular part of our routines, especially for those of us who get super sweaty like I do. Unfortunately, most conventional drugstore deodorants are full of artificial (and even potentially dangerous) ingredients that have no place being on our skin. Our underarms are actually one of the most absorbent parts of our bodies. Think aluminum (!!) synthetic fragrances and parabens – yikes! In my opinion, if there’s only one switch you make when it comes to skincare and beauty, it should definitely be to natural deodorant!

I’ve tried a lot of different brands (some were drugstore versions of natural), but none of them really did the job. I would still end up pretty gross and sweaty, even after giving myself time to adjust to a natural product. Some of the deodorants that I tried even left white stains all over my clothing (that I have yet to get out). Ughhhh, MAJOR pet peeve!

Primally Pure Charcoal Deodorant is hands-down the best natural deodorant I’ve found. Not only does it, you know, actually work, but I love the story behind it. The brand was born out of the founder’s own desire to switch to a natural deodorant. When her experimentation attempts with the ones available on the market failed, she just created her own. I love this! Talk about taking things into your own hands! Formulated with safe and gentle yet effective ingredients, such as baking soda, fair-trade coconut oil, and activated coconut charcoal, this deodorant keeps me sweat-free and smelling fresh. And, of course, I love not having to worry about any harsh chemicals that could disrupt my body’s natural balance. It’s truly the best!

While I’m a proponent of natural deodorant and definitely don’t foresee myself returning to conventional drugstore brands, there are a few caveats that come with making the transition. Oh, yes, I’m talking about “detoxing.” Our bodies have grown accustomed to the artificial results produced by using artificial ingredients. Removing those potential toxins from our systems might lead to some inadvertent side effects. The good news? With a little time and patience, these side effects will reside. Below are a few tips for what to expect and how you can make the transition a little more seamless.

Tips for Transitioning to Natural Deodorant

Sweat

Yes, you’re going to sweat. And, yes, it’s completely healthy and normal! Culturally (especially for women), we’re encouraged to cover up some of the completely normal biological processes our bodies go through and sweating is one of them. Contrary to what we’ve been told, we’re 100% supposed to sweat! When transitioning to natural deodorant, you might find that you initially perspire a bit more than you are used to. This is because the chemicals in conventional products can disrupt our bodies’ natural detoxification process, and our bodies need time to rebalance themselves. BUT this won’t last forever, and once the the balance is restored, you might actually find yourself less sweaty than before!

Smell

Yep… we’re going there. Just like the chemicals in conventional products mask our sweat, they also mask our smell. No one is saying we need to get down with being super stinky, but if we’ve gotten used to the scent of artificial, synthetic fragrances, then we might feel a bit stinky while transitioning. Thankfully, this resolves with time, and if it doesn’t, you might want to look into any other dietary and lifestyle factors that could be causing the problem. For example, this might be how a dairy sensitivity reveals itself when it was previously being masked by conventional products. Crazy, right? 

No matter what, you should always avoid deodorants that have “fragrance” on the label – this is usually a code word for lots of chemicals. I personally love the minty fresh smell of Primally Pure Charcoal Deodorant, which is scented naturally with essential oils. They also carry Blue Tansy, Geranium, Lavender, Lemongrass, and Tea Tree naturally scented products as well!

Irritation

While I’ve never experienced irritation from a natural deodorant, but I know it can happen. (Primally Pure’s contains essential fatty acids and nourishing, anti-inflammatory vitamins that prevent it.) Many natural deodorants contain baking soda, which can cause underarms to become red, itchy, and bumpy. It’s kind of similar to razor burn. If it happens, it’s usually at the beginning of use and calms down once your skin has adjusted.

There are a few reasons irritation could be exacerbated. If you’re using too much product (trust me, two swipes are all you need), are swiping roughly (yes, this is a thing), or are applying it immediately after shaving when skin is more sensitive. Try dabbing the product instead of wiping it or waiting a bit after shaving to apply. You could also apply the deodorant every other day or every two days and work your way up. Another handy tip is to dab a cotton ball soaked in apple cider vinegar on your underarms. This helps to naturally balance the PH of the skin. If all else fails, Primally Pure’s refreshing Everything Spray doesn’t contain baking soda. It can be used as an alternative to deodorant when you need a quick pick-me-up!

Underarm Darkening

Again, this isn’t something that I personally experienced, but it definitely happens (it tends to be more common in those of us with darker skin tones). While it’s certainly annoying, it’s in no way harmful – just your body adjusting to baking soda. As a remedy, try rubbing a lemon wedge dipped in sugar onto the darkened area. Lemon and sugar is a natural skin brightener and exfoliant!

Staining

Primally Pure Charcoal Deodorant is one of the few natural deodorants’s that I’ve tried that I have not experienced staining with. If a natural deodorant is causing staining, it’s likely due to the essential oils. You can try lessening the amount of product that you use to see if it helps. You can also wait a bit between applying and putting your clothes on to allow the oils to set. There are some fabrics where staining is more obvious, but I’ve found this to be the case whether you’re using natural or conventional products.  I mean, we’ve all run out of the house at some point and then saw white marks on our shirt, right? Most of the time, these stains come with a regular wash cycle.

If you’re considering making the switch from conventional drugstore to natural deodorant, I’d say do it! And if you haven’t because you’re unsure of the detox phase, I totally get it. No one wants to walk around like a sweaty, stinky hot mess. In reality, it’s not that bad and lasts only a week or two at the most. The best piece of advice I can give you is to skip conventional brands that have come out with more natural products and go straight for a line that specializes in natural skin care, like Primally Pure. You can actually save 15% with code carrotsncake15 on your order. The code works for all products on Primally Pure. If you sign up for a subscription, you get free shipping! I definitely think it’s worth it for happy, healthy underarms! 🙂

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My Saving Grace In Combating Pollen Allergies

I’m Hell-Bent On Creating a Healthier Fire Service

It’s Monday, everyone! And that means another Primal Blueprint Real Life Story from a Mark’s Daily Apple reader. If you have your own success story and would like to share it with me and the Mark’s Daily Apple community please contact me here. I’ll continue to publish these each Monday as long as they keep coming in. Thank you for reading!

I was over being a factory worker. I spent my lunch breaks smoking cigarettes and eating 5 dollar footlongs. Who knew that footlong subs weren’t healthy? I wanted to reclaim my health and find a more exciting career. Being a firefighter seemed cool and different. When I decided to take the upcoming firefighter exam for the city of Columbus, I knew that the physical portion would be difficult. I hadn’t worked out since childhood sports and smoked a pack a day. That’s when I started researching the optimal diet and workout routines. Like everyone in the early stages of their health journey, I tried everything.

Jogging had become my salvation. No matter how long my workday was, or how physically drained I was after clocking out, I would run 3 or 4 miles on the trail. I was trying to out-train my diet. I felt prepared to take on the physical exam after months of cardio training and zero strength training. The test was pretty easy besides dragging a 200 lb dummy around. I did fine, but I didn’t stand out. Onward and upward. I was now “skinny-fat” with no idea how to eat. It didn’t take long to realize that the fad diets and chronic cardio weren’t going to cut it. I wasn’t seeing the results I had hoped for. This was motivation for me to get better—to get stronger and wiser.

Thank you, Google, for introducing me to Mark’s Daily Apple and the Primal community. When I discovered the treasure that is the Primal Blueprint, everything got easier. It provided clarity on how to eat and move like I was meant to. Implementing the lifestyle laws that Mark created was easy: lift heavy shit a couple times a week and keep it moving. I ditched the 5Ks in favor of HIIT and hill sprints. My kettlebell and cobweb-covered pull up bar in the basement were the only gym equipment I needed. Once I could do twenty strict pull ups in a row, I began adding weight by hanging a bowling ball in the bag over my shoulders like a backpack. I quickly worked my way up to “mastery level” on the PEMs.

My diet was simplified. I found three or four go-to Primal meals and cycled through them weekly. Steak and cauliflower mash with greens is still a favorite of mine. No more Miller High Life, more Cab Francs. No more cigarettes, more kettlebell swings. Friends and family noticed my transformation and from there I became their ancestral health advocate (AHA). I became deeply passionate about ancestral health and teaching people how to eat. Once you go Primal there is a tendency to want to pay it forward.

Throughout this shift towards a Primal lifestyle, I was still grinding and testing my way into the fire service. I finally landed a job! I was officially a full-time firefighter and paramedic. Things did not get easier from there, however. I had job stability and my money problems went away, but my health suffered—mainly my sleep quality. Like most first responders, I developed shift work sleep disorder and chronic stress. My days off were now dedicated to recovery from sleep deprivation. Grumpy and tired was my new default. I realized early on that this would not be a sustainable career path if I valued my health and longevity.

Around the same time, Mark developed the Primal Health Coach Institute. After many discussions with admissions director Laura Rupsis, I decided to pull the trigger and enroll in the course. Four months later I was certified, smart AF, and ready to coach.

Now my off-duty days are spent researching and coaching first responders (my niche) to better health. I teach firefighters across the nation how to survive the fire service by incorporating ancestral health techniques. My philosophy on health has now been published in Firehouse Magazine and EMS World Magazine. If you can get through to firefighters, you can get through to anyone. Eventually, hangry firefighters will be a thing of the past and the fat-adapted will prevail. So here I am, having steak and eggs with broccoli and having a lasting impact on the fire service.

Ancient philosophy has provided me with a guide to the good life. The Primal Blueprint and ancestral health have provided me with a guide to the healthy life. By combining the two, I provide clients with peace of mind and peace of body. Mark Sisson wants to change the lives of 100 million people. I am hell-bent on creating a healthier fire service. Here’s to a life full of good food and gratitude. Your health, your hands.

Nick Holderbaum

Primal Health Coach profile

The readers featured in our success stories share their experiences in their own words. The Primal Blueprint and Keto Reset diets are not intended as medical intervention or diagnosis. Nor are they replacements for working with a qualified healthcare practitioner. It’s important to speak with your doctor before beginning any new dietary or lifestyle program, and please consult your physician before making any changes to medication or treatment protocols. Each individual’s results may vary.

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Easter Weekend + 4 Egg Hunts

A special someone had an AWESOME Easter weekend! Quinn had the opportunity to participate in 4 (!!) different egg hunts and, my gosh, he had a blast. Mal and I also liked to see his “competitive” side come out. Haha!

On Saturday, we attended a HUGE egg hunt that our town hosted at a local park. There must have been about 200 kids and, rumor has it, there were 5,000 plastic eggs with tiny toys inside. Quinn was definitely overwhelmed at first, but we explained how the egg hunt was going to work, he was excited and ALL BUSINESS.

When the horn sounded to officially kick on the Easter egg hunt, Quinn ran out and gathered a ton of eggs. He was so fast!! He was also really proud of himself. It was really cute! 🙂

After the egg hunt, we went out with some friends and their kids to Cask ‘N’ Flagon for an early dinner. I must have drank 3-4 glasses of wine between the restaurant and their house. Mal was on vacation last week, so I was basically on a booze and sugar bender between New York City and Easter. Holy cow, I embraced vacation to its fullest. More on this in a second.

On Easter morning, we did an egg hunt at our house. It started at Quinn’s bedroom and went outside into the backyard.

He had a great time and couldn’t believe how many jelly beans he got! 🙂

We had a low-key morning at home – complete with almond croissants and plenty of candy – and then drove out to my Grammie’s house to celebrate with my family. Quinn also got to do another Easter egg hunt with his cousins!

The cousins were also involved in some pool shenanigans, which was quite amusing since that’s exactly the type of stuff that I did with my cousins at Grammie’s house! 🙂

The dessert situation at my Grammie’s house was out of control delicious. I pretty much tried every since cake, cookie, and ice cream flavor. I usually just pick one or two options to try, but a week of vacation eating (and drinking) definitely rolled into Easter Day.

I actually had a few clients message me saying that they felt “off track” with their eating this past week, so I gave a little pep talk in our Nutrition & Accountability Group for moving forward – and then reminded myself of it last night when I was feeling kind of blah about my food choices. My advice:

* The past is in the past. Do not dwell on it. Move on.

* Make your NEXT meal healthy. Don’t wait until Monday!

* Don’t let a “bad” day or days (or whole week) derail you. One day, a few days, or a week won’t affect your overall progress. It’s really your habits and lifestyle over months and years that matter!

* Your goals don’t change, so don’t let any sort of negative momentum influence your choices. If you tripped going down a flight of stairs, you wouldn’t throw yourself down the rest of them, right?

* Make it a point to grocery shop and do some meal prep. Even a little is better than none!

Yesterday afternoon, Papi and his girlfriend stopped by our house and set up another Easter egg hunt for Quinn. Papi is “best friends” with the Easter Bunny, so Quinn got all sorts of goodies!

Question of the Day

How was your Easter? Did you eat ALLTHESUGAR like I did?

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Easter Weekend

Oh happy day!! Easter weekend was lovely. Let me tell show you all about it!

On Friday night we had some major storms in the area. They closed school early and all of Cville was on high alert. Thankfully we didn’t have more than a heavy rain, but we were all braced for worse.

Note the background if the happy baby doesn’t distract you!

Nevertheless, we had a cozy night in. We ate up soup leftovers and watched TV shows until bedtime.

Red wine makes it extra cozy! This was one of the best wines I’ve had from Winc. It was a collab with NYT Best-selling author and anonymous poet, Atticus, whose personal interest in wine has been expressed throughout his work. He worked directly with Winc Winemaker, Ryan Zotovich, to create a custom red blend inspired by the creative processes of writing and winemaking. A direct quote: “Wine is poetry and so is life. So drink on. And live on. And write yours richly.”

On Saturday morning, the storms had passed and sunny skies were mighty!

I had a berry smoothie bowl made with banana, berries, milk, oats, and Vega.

Then I took Mazen to a birthday party at an arcade. Cue the angels singing.

I had a hair appointment just down the street, so I took my time walking over and stopped into Found Market.

I picked up a frothy tea, and pondered buying this mug. Total overthinker over here!

Post hair appointment I walked back to pick up Mazen and…

Had Barefoot Contessa’s chocolate cake before lunch. Because: yum.

When I returned home, I had a quick quiche and salad lunch…

And then Birch and I took Mazen to his soccer game to cheer him on. (Thomas was playing golf all morning, and Eileen babysat Birch for the first half!)

Mazen scored two goals, and I was totally beat when I got home after walking laps with the stroller to try to get Birch to nap on the go.

We stopped by a friend’s party next, and then we headed to Three Notch’d with the friends who were staying at our house for an early dinner.

Pretzel bites —- gaahhhhh!

Mazen and I worked on his first word search together!!

I had a salad plus one of Thomas’s three sliders for dinner.

Mazey wrote a note to the Easter bed, and T and I finally watched the new Game Of Thrones with our friends!!

Mazen had fun hunting for his Easter basket in the morning. I put a little one for Birch in his downstairs crib, and the footage of Mazen discovering it, inspecting it, and slightly altering it we caught on the baby monitor is priceless!!

The Easter Bunny also left a real egg hunt for Mazen in the front yard! Pardon him while he finishes chewing a Reese’s for breakfast!

Easter breakfast!

Thomas and I both went on runs before taking showers and dressing up for lunch out.

Flawless in Five!! L O V I N G my new make-up!

Our destination: Veritas Winery for their winemaker’s lunch! It was SO good and kid friendly too! There were so many families there, and they had kites and bubbles for the kids after the meal.

Here is the menu:

We were greeted with some bubbly at the door…

And all four courses were so good!!

Of course the wines were amazing too!! We went with our friends the Koch’s and had such a nice time.

Big B’s first time in a high chair! I think he got the eating part down, just not that he should eating food and not his bow tie :mrgreen: He slept on Thomas in the Boba for a good hour of the meal and then was happy for the rest. We got really lucky! I nursed him on the steps outside while I watched the kids play with kites.

The forecast called for rain all week, so we were thrilled with this sky!!!

We were full all night and had a simple dinner after that. Hope you guys had a lovely weekend.

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