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I’m REAL miffed that Oprah retired from daytime TV. It totally obsolesces at least twelve of my favorite pop culture references. Eleven of which are Tom Cruise-related. I guess that means they were teetering on the edge anyway.
Also, I’m super sad that we won’t see any more shows on short-term calorie restriction leading to weight loss on a morally misguided intervention diet of rabbit food and tofurkey Veganism. (What have you done, Oprah?)
Oprah’s daytime retirement may also mean we see fewer of the Dr. Oz ilk getting awesome new shows and websites where they explain stuff they don’t fully understand, improperly and create Longevity Lists that proclaim Whole Grains to be “necessary to colon health.” (Suspiciously, Oz lists no gluten-containing grains on his Longevity List – are us “Paleos” on to something, Dr. Oz? I suppose not – his anti-cancer list involves “Bread, pasta, [and] tortillas.”)
We know, of course, that the greatest thing Oprah ever did for humanity was to create the “Favorite Things” episode. It reminded an entire generation of couch potatoes to dream big. To believe with all their hearts that one day, they might be gifted a Burberry raincoat and a Roomba.
It also inspired the following graphic:
Today I’m sharing some of my favorite duuh-scoveries in Body Care. “Duuh-scoveries” because they’re basic, easy to find and head-smackingly simple to use.
(I do plan on doing a Whole Foods run wherein I scrawl “Cave Girl Approved” in Sharpie across all the jars of coconut oil and such. But don’t be afraid to use products that don’t have the “CGA” label. Because I probably will be thwarted, if not put in Hippie Prison, before I can deface all the apple cider vinegar. And also because you don’t need me to tell you what’s best for you.)
Here’s my rundown – these items make up the foundation of my body care routine.
1. For the Pits: Coconut oil and baking soda.
I’ve used every store-bought deodorant under the sun, but if you want to go aluminum-free (and I suggest you do), you can pretty much guarantee some stank. Unless, that is, you go with the trusty combo of baking soda and coconut oil. A swipe of oil topped with a dash of BS will leave you odor-free all day.
I’ve purchased several incarnations of this combo that are infused with oils – Bubble and Bee and Tropical Traditions make my favorites – but I mostly just do-it-myself. Two tiny mason jars lifted from the syrup section at the Continental Breakfast Bar serve as carriers for my anti-stank regimen (I apply them separately, as the baking soda tends to separate if the coconut oil melts).
2. For the Hair: Coconut oil, baking soda and vinegar.
I’ve talked about this ad nauseam around this here blog, so I’ll link you to the best explanations: “No Poo” and “No Poo: Results!” The long and short of it? I don’t use shampoo anymore, unless I feel like some luxurious lather. It’s just not necessary. While your success may vary based on the type of water, texture of hair, and level of commitment to the regimen, it’s certainly worth a try.
Conditioning once a week with a 2-12 hour coconut oil hair mask is a super-nourishing treat. You can either use some quality shampoo or simple soap (see #4) to rinse the oil out, or – as my little sis figured out – the vinegar rinse will do the job as well.
3. For the Body: Nourishing oils, and a new favorite.
At least four times each week I cleanse my face using either the Oil Cleansing Method as generally prescribed or with a variation involving only coconut oil. More on my experience here, and a little on my nutritional strategies for combatting acne here. I moisturize with either coconut or jojoba oil depending on my fancy.
And while I don’t often buy pre-made beauty products anymore, I’ve found a purveyor that I truly love for those few fun, sweet-smelling things that I just LIKE to have around. Great Marsh Artisan Skincare uses seasonal ingredients (how cool is that?) and infuses their products with yummy, high-quality herbs and essential oils – things I know very little about when it comes to body care, so I appreciate anyone with a passion for their healing, helping, and uplifting properties.
I’ve loved everything I’ve tried from Great Marsh, but my favorites are the Lavender Honey Hard Lotion and the balms – one of which is infused with my favorite food-and-body ingredient, lemongrass. My CrossFitting friends are eagerly awaiting the upcoming muscle rub from Great Marsh as well.
4. For the Yuck: Good Ole Fashioned Lye Soap.
Reader Susie recently reminded me that I needed to give this old-school soap a try. Grandma’s Lye Soap (facebook page here, amazon link here) is sold at my neighborhood Ace Hardware. (Real quick: does “lye soap” not conjure images of Granny Clampett and her cauldron? And Jethro’s giant bowl of cornflakes?)
Let me tell you, this stuff is freaking FANTASTIC. It’s the most gentle soap I’ve ever used and rinses so perfectly clean. I’m a dirty hippie, mind you, and I would trade in my Birkenstocks for a lifetime supply of this stuff.
5. For the Wrinkles: Frownies
We’ve all been there. Your weekly Botox allowance runs out (for the record, Botox is definitely “Paleo”) and you’re simply out of options. What to do?
I “get” the argument that wrinkles are a sign of wisdom…they’re earned…rock of ages…Teri Hatcher…et cetera. But I sleep-frown. I frown hard enough to grump Archie Bunker out of crankytown. And I wake up with deep wrinkles in the shape of an eleven – “11″ in my forehead. It makes me sad, because I’m not a frowner or a downer – and I don’t feel like embracing the after-effects of Anger Sleep as if they were some Badge of Honour. So I use Frownies. They’re basically a stiff Biore Pore Strip that you place at the site of the Sleep Frowns. They’re firm enough to keep the frown crease at bay.
6. For the Laundry: Soap Nuts
The more I learn about soap nuts and their uses, the more I fall in love with them. Soap Nuts are 100% natural – as in, they exist in nature - and contain saponin, which is basically a natural “soap.” No additives, no stripping agents – the Soap Nut is literally nature’s cleanser. Just a few soap nuts clean your laundry better and more thoroughly than normal detergent, and without all the chemicals (which are what’s REALLY “nuts.” Tee hee). Crazy, right? While I generally believe that humans are probably meant to be naked (woot), the mere existence of soap nuts makes me wonder if the loincloth was meant to be compulsory.
A Nutritional Therapy colleague and proprietor at Blessed Creek Soap Nuts has supplied me with some amazing information on the history and uses of soap nuts. I’m writing all about them for the next issue of Paleo Magazine.
So that’s it – my Self-Care lineup of late. There has been some great discussion in the comments of the posts I list below – more recommendations and ideas from people who are much smarter and more resourceful than I. Be sure to check them out, and if you haven’t already, leave your ideas in the comments!
Want EXTRA-extra help with body & skin care? I wrote an all-digital, comprehensive guide from my years of research into healing my own skin through nutrition, digestive healing and the right body care routine. My other (always FREE) body care posts are here!