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The switch to cruelty-free products- hits and misses

Friday, May 25, 2012

One of my goals for the month was to continue to look for cruelty free body products.

I have had some success but unfortunately most of the items have been a bust and I am going to give my skin (and scalp) a break! I am not giving up...just taking a break :)

here are some of the products I have tried-

Shampoo/conditioner- Nature's Best, Kirkland, Trader Joe's, Lush bar, Treseme and Armotherapy from Bath and Body. I am sticking with Pantene for now. My scalp is fried. On my wish list to try- Kiss my Face- whenever

Toothpaste- Trader Joe's and I tried making my own (it was disgusting!). I am going to stick with Crest for now.

Shaving cream- coconut oil works great on fine hair. It does take some effort to get the razor cleaned out after each swipe and doesn't work as well on coarse hair but I like the way my legs and pits feel after shaving ! Thanks LIV2RIDE (Kelly). The wife even agrees that we will not be buying any more shaving cream once this container is done.

Deodorant- Lush aromaco deodorant bar and coconut powder (Thanks DYET and ABB698- Lesa!). The application of them take some getting used to but they work! I am also trying Crystal. I don't like the wetness when applying but it seems to be working. The ultimate test will be a good hike.

Face cleanser (wash, toner, lotion)- my poor face. I tried multiple Lush products. The woman worker at the store went crazy with samples! I tried 2 face bar, a toner, 1 lotion (she gave me 2 to try) and one mask (she gave me 4 to try). My forehead and neck have broken out in a rash AND acne. I'm pretty bummed. The products smelled nice and didn't bother the sensitive nose of my wife. I thought I had gotten lucky on the first try! I am stuck with Proactiv for now.

Lotion- Yes to Carrots- love it. Although my skin does feel dry at times, I think it's the atmosphere though and not the fault of the lotion

Body wash- I was using Bath and Body Works (BBW) but returned all of them after I checked the ingredients and saw that they have parabens. I checked the body wash I was using before and to my surprise it is cruelty-free. It does have parabens but if I am going to use a product with parabens in them anyways, I would prefer to use the one that is cheaper! Body Essence $3.47 for 24oz versus BBW $11 for 10oz. Easy decision for me!

I am hopeful that one day I will be able to switch completely over to cruelty-free products. I take comfort in knowing that I am closer.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ABB698 5/30/2012 2:38AM

    Wow Hil, you went through quite a process to find what works. Sorry all the products didn't work out, but at least you got to enjoy the yummy smell of Lush :) LOL
Hope to see you soon, miss you!

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KALIGIRL 5/28/2012 8:00AM

    Very cool!

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ANGELA2B 5/27/2012 10:40PM

    I guess my biggest contribution to the environment would be that I am an avid recycler. Sometimes I think what I do doesn't make a difference. But I never get disheartened to the point that I stop trying. The other day my partner bought a new pitcher for the iced tea that we drink in the summer. It was the kind with a spout at the bottom. We thought it would be great to keep in the fridge for quick access to a refreshing glass of iced tea. So, she was excited to start brewing and fill it up. But we noticed quickly that it dripped around the spout. We were pretty bummed about it and decided quickly that we'd have to return it, but we left it for the time being sitting on the kitchen counter with the spout positioned over the sink. We went about our business gardening and playing outside with the dogs. About 4 or 5 hours later we came back into the house and noticed the container was all but empty. It may seem hokey, but I thought it was a great illustration of the difference a "drop in the bucket" can make over just a little time. The things you are doing are much more far reaching than me. I think I could try the cocoa butter thing. Thanks for sharing! emoticon emoticon

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BISCO_ 5/26/2012 11:29PM

    emoticon WOW!!

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SEASONS__CHANGE 5/26/2012 8:30AM

    You've made some awesome progress over the time that I've known you. Starting your weight loss journey, learning to eat healthier and mastering them both and now, seeing you venture to a new avenue of only using cruelty free products is simply amazing. You're teaching us a lot while you're going through this process and I appreciate you posting your discoveries.


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ANATASHIKI 5/25/2012 12:03PM

    ugh , I got all itchy while reading your blog emoticon I could never use those things , I tried too , I'm allergic to pollen and to a lot of fruit and vegetables , the only natural thing that my skin loves are olives . we used to make home made soap , but it still can have crystals of caustic soda so it's not suited for the face .some girls use here egg yolk instead of shampoo , I also heard of a variation with 1 tbsp of rum with 3 egg yolks. but I never tried so idk . I also heard of sodium bicarbonate used instead of deodorant (on dry skin) alone , or mixed with corn starch . but maybe you should allow your skin to heal before experimenting again.

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LIV2RIDE 5/25/2012 10:09AM

    It's definitely a trial and error kind of process when you are trying to transition to cruelty free and natural products. One suggestion is to not compare them to regular products because they just aren't the same. I find that with skincare products. I'm trying a brand called Sprout now and it's much different.

I'm glad you like the coconut oil. Do a quick Google search there are thousands of uses for the stuff. It's like a miracle product or something. As you know, I love it as a body moisturizer. I have to clean the shower more often but love the way it makes my skin feel.

Good luck!

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I am a cooking machine! With recipes

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Since coming back to nights in February I have not made many new recipes. My "hopeful" recipes have been expanding so I decided it's time to knock a few of them out- tonight!

Of course I substituted and changed up some things in all of these recipes. I omit the oil and substitute agave for table sugar.

I was afraid it would be too sweet so I left out the sweet potatoes and added a can of rinsed garbanzo beans-

These are my favorite so far....I only made the meatballs and they are wonderful. I think it would be good as a burger too and I have some leftovers so I am going to try it!-


I added walnuts, pineapples and coconut to this one

I also made some yam fries that I do not have a recipe for.

I am well fed :)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

COOKWITHME65 5/28/2012 9:25AM

    Thankyou for these recipes. They sound wonderful. I happened upon your spark page thru a friends feed. So glad I did.

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ABB698 5/25/2012 12:37AM

    Glad you got a chance to get your cooking on! Go Hil!

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SEASONS__CHANGE 5/24/2012 10:01PM

    Thanks for posting this Hil... I'm going to save the links to my favorites for when I'm ready to get into the new healthier cooking mode.


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KALIGIRL 5/24/2012 8:21AM

    You are a cooking machine! emoticon

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LIV2RIDE 5/24/2012 6:48AM

    Thanks for sharing! I Pinned them so that I can make them later.

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BISCO_ 5/24/2012 5:26AM


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Blackened Tofu

Friday, May 18, 2012


I just made this. Yum! I put it over brown rice and raw spinach.

Instead of thyme (which wife does not like) I used oregano. I left out paprika and cayenne. The pepper alone added enough kick for me!

I will be making this again!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ABB698 5/20/2012 2:09PM

    Looks yummy, but I have to stay away from too much soy :(

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SEASONS__CHANGE 5/18/2012 10:11PM

    Yum... check out the link and it does look good. What did you use to press the block of firm tofu?

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SWEDE_SU 5/18/2012 5:46AM

    sounds good, i'm adding it to my list of things to try! emoticon

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Yay! I was able to upload some vacation pics

Thursday, May 17, 2012

A stroll through Heritage Farms

Dinner with my family

Next to a gay bar

Lunch with my dad and his family

Dinner with Fun's family

My beautiful nieces

Cubs game

Bar after the Cubs game

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BISCO_ 5/22/2012 5:17AM


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SEASONS__CHANGE 5/17/2012 7:40PM

    Sorry I missed you guys and thanks for sharing the pictures. Looks like it was a rainy day for Heritage Farms, bummer.

BTW, the two of you compliment each other very well. You look so happy.


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KALIGIRL 5/17/2012 11:05AM

    Very cool!

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    Yay for vacation! Where is Heritage Farms?

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LIV2RIDE 5/17/2012 6:55AM

    Look like a good time even though you were sick. You can't help but have fun at the Cubs game. Win or lose it's always a good time!

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ANATASHIKI 5/17/2012 1:34AM

    yay! pics emoticon it seems you had a good time emoticon

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Unable to upload pics from vacation

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

I have been trying to upload pics of my trip to Illinois to SP for 3 days now but continue getting an error :(

I will continue to try and hope that one time it will work.

Have a great week :)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SEASONS__CHANGE 5/15/2012 10:10PM

    Which Internet browser do you use?

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KALIGIRL 5/15/2012 8:18AM

    Hope it works - would love to see them!

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AJB121299 5/15/2012 8:01AM

    good luck with getting them uploaded

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