Health Is Bigger Than Portion Control And Reading Food Labels: 4 Easy DIY Products You Can Incorporate Today


This year I’m going to get healthy”!   “I’m going to start exercising on Monday”.  “Someday I am going to lose this weight”.  “I have heard that my skin care and hair products and could be dangerous for my health but I can’t afford those organic brands”.

I hear these statements like these all the time and even made them myself in the past until, I shifted to a wholistic life view.  “Wholistic refers to the whole, a whole item or whole body of a person or thing.  The word defines the consideration of the entire structure or makeup, which includes the body, mind and the spirit in the case of a human being” (

This is different than holistic, which focuses on the interdependence of the different parts of the whole.  Holistic practice is a vital part of wellness, but has more to do with healing systems that are considered alternative such as homeopathy or acupuncture. Which are both awesome by the way.

Wholistic is a better world view than a single focus such as fitness or diet.  I love the definition because it applies to our whole selves of course, but it also applies to our food, items in their whole natural state.  Therefore, if you adopt this view you will live in consideration of the needs of your entire being, your food, exercise, sleep, chemical exposure, stress management, beauty products.

Health is much bigger than portion control and reading food labels.  Of course those things are important, they are just little pieces of one giant puzzle.  We must carefully design each piece so they fit together to form the whole being and we are able to live in the most effective and clean way.  That is true Wholistic Living.

Today I want to share with you four of my favorite do it yourself (DIY) products you can incorporate into your own life as a way of inching towards that wholistic world view.  Just like food can nourish or damage us on the inside, whatever we put on our skin or hair also gets absorbed into our bodies. 

Most of these ideas I have collected over the last few years from different resources and they are now a regular part of our lives.  By no means are we 100% with anything but we are always striving our best to maintain a high level of wellness both with our food and our products.

1.  Shampoo.  Most shampoos on the market today are made with over twenty ingredients some with only ¼ of them tested for safety.  To be on the safe side you should avoid using products that contain any chemical that includes “xynol”, “ceteareth” and “oleth”.

Diethanolamine or DEA is a potentially cancer causing ingredient and also blocks the absorption of the nutrient choline which is critical for brain development.  Oddly enough, propylene glycol is a known skin irritant yet is a common ingredient in shampoo.  Finally, avoid the use of any parabens.  They have shown strong links to cancer.

Making your own shampoo is any easy and less expensive way to have great, clean looking hair without the risk of carcinogens.  I use Dr. Bronner’s Castile soap, as a base with its 10-12 organic and non-genetically modified ingredients.  Dr. Bronner’s is easy to find at Amazon or many local stores, and it comes in several different scents so you can change it up every once in a while.

This winter we have been using the tea tree oil one since it is a natural head lice preventer (anyone who has had it can understand why), we also like the peppermint and lavender.  You can experiment with your favorites.

I purchased 16 oz flip top bottles for all the bathrooms and we can just refill accordingly.  And a very small amount of this goes a long way.

The Recipe

Fill ¾ of the bottle with Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Castile Soap

Fill ¼ with coconut milk

For dry hair add 1 teaspoon of olive oil.

Shake well before each use.

If you buy an unscented castile soap you can add your own essential oils to create your favorite shampoo.  The great thing about this recipe is it doubles as a face and body wash if need be and is safe and gentle for all skin.

2.  Laundry Detergent.  For much the same reason as shampoo, making your own laundry detergent is safe, easy and affordable.  Laundry detergents are not required to show ingredients on their labels and surprisingly over 80% of them are never tested, and those that are, are tested by their own manufacturers.

The fragrances in the detergents are often created by the carcinogen formaldehyde which is known to cause skin irritations.  These fragrances have also been liked to causing asthma in children and even affecting reproductive health.

Optical brighteners, those components in the detergent used to make your clothes look brighter and whiter are really just another layer of harmful chemicals on the clothes.  They don’t actually clean your clothes to make them brighter they leave molecules on the fabric that reflect ultraviolet light and create the illusion that they are whiter. 

These particular substances are known skin irritants and have been linked to causing greater photosensitivity of our skin. The actual part of the detergent that cleans our clothes is a petrochemical known as nonylphenol ethoxylate (NPE). 

“While Canada and the European Union have banned NPEs, the United States continues their use. According to the Sierra Club, the possible reason behind the continued use is that the Alkyphenol Ethoxylates Research Council (APERC) represents the manufacturers of this harmful petrochemical” (SmartKlean).

NPE’s are also known as endocrine disrupters.  In other words, they mess with our hormones.  And anything that changes our hormones or causes hormonal imbalances can severely affect not only our health, but fetal development. 

The recipe

1 cup soap flakes (I use Dr. Bronner’s so I use 1 Bar, any scent)
1/2 cup washing soda
1/2 cup baking soda

Grate the soap with a cheese grater, then combine all ingredients in a bowl. Whisk until well-mixed. Use 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons per load.  Safe for HE washing machines.   For fabric softener I use straight up white vinegar and it works wonderfully.  It doesn’t make the laundry smell like vinegar, plus helps to clean your washer.  

I do pretreat heavy stains but find that they come out so nicely with this soap. This detergent is so easy to make, my kids do it.  And it’s cheap! 

Some recipes out there use other bar soaps like Fels Naptha, it is cheaper than the Dr. Bronners but has more ingredients and is unnatural.  Also, there are recipes online for liquid detergent if you prefer. Here are the DIY laundry detergent prices.  Cost to your health and the environment, PRICELESS!

1 55 oz Box Super Washing Soda $3.24 @ Walmart 13.75 ½ cups .25 cents/ ½ Cup
1 5lbs Bag Baking Soda $3.47 @ Walmart 20.54 ½ cups .34 cents/ ½ cup
Dr. Bronners 5 oz Bar Soap $3.95/Bar, scented ones are more   $3.95/Bar
    26 tsp/batch $4.54 Per Batch
Total Cost of This Detergent   1 tbsp/load .17 Cents/Load

Compared to the Store bought brands.

Tide Powder 143 oz 102 load .17/load
Seventh Generation 112 oz 70 loads .27/load
Method 20 oz liquid 50 loads .40/load

Small prices to pay for a better quality and much safer laundry detergent.

2. Dishwasher Detergent.  Similar to the laundry detergent this product is safer and very easy to make. I have used this detergent over a year and it has worked great for us.  I use straight distilled white vinegar as the rinse aid.

The recipe

1 cup washing soda                                                                                                                                                                                           ¼ cup citric acid                                                                                                                                                                                 ¼ cup coarse salt                                                                                                                                                                                                 Optional 10-15 drops of essential acid for scent

1 55 oz Box Super Washing Soda $3.24 @ Walmart 6.87 cups .50 cents/cup
5 lbs bag Citric Acid $18.99 @ Amazon 47.5 ½ cups .40 cents/ ½ cup
192 oz Coarse Salt $20.16 @ Walmart 72 ½ cups .27 cent/ ½ cup
Total Per Batch   32 Tablesppons/batch .78 cents/batch
    1 tbsp/ batch .02 per load

This homemade solution is SO much cheaper! 

Cascade Complete 75 oz .26/load
Walmart Brand 75 oz .10/load
Target Brand 75 oz .10/load

4. Face Wash.  This product was by far the strangest one for me to wrap my head around, but now I am in love with it.  We have all been programed that we must spend gobs of money on fancy products to take good care of our skin and reduce the effects of aging.

My friend from Dishrag Diaries convinced me to start making and using this face wash and despite my doubts, I am now an oil face washer!  I have been using it since December with great results.  I have never felt better about putting something on my skin, it has reduced the hormonal acne I still suffer and when it does flare up the healing process has been enhanced.  

Again it is much cheaper, no harsh chemicals, it is easy and it works so well.  Here is the article from Dishrag Diaries on the Oil Face Wash and she completely explains the rationale behind it, as well as her own experience.  Read it and start using this today! 

The Recipe                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       2:8 Castor to Sunflower oil

I recommend making in small batches to try it and then adjusting based on your dryness level.  Its like your own little spa treatment every evening and it has greatly if not totally, reduced my need for extra moisturizers.  These two oils are also easily found on Amazon you can purchase today and mix in your own container.


The value in making your own household products is beyond dollars saved.  I encourage all of you to start reducing your ecological footprint as well as your chemical exposure with DIY products.  have free samples of any of these recipes if you are interested in trying them. 

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