Category Archives: A Closer Look At

moon with clouds

Thoughts on Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL)

A love letter to our ongoing struggle with physical bodies

In these political and environmentally trying times, sometimes our most effective tool for change is simply to try and remain healthy and happy.  It sounds easy, but its not. It can mean changing core beliefs and patterns and fighting cultural pressures and habits we are not even aware of.  It can imply a luxury of time and/or money to actually enable health and self examination.  Plus, not everyone gets to choose a reasonable baseline with which to start with in life.  Nevertheless, we continue and we strive and we believe and we have hope and that makes us human.

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted here, but I felt drawn to after a close friend was diagnosed with CLL.  For what it’s worth, here are my thoughts on this, and cancer in general.  I realize it is an emotional topic, I eat grains of salt with every opinion I have and I don’t say them out loud very often.  However, perhaps these may be of help to someone.  Also, don’t eat grains of salt if you think you might have cancer!

looking up at trees

Someone once helped me turn paralyzing a fear and nervousness into excitement, by pointing out that they actually feel very similar in the body.  Adrenaline, blood flow, flushing, mind racing… and our mind is what controls the positive/negative connotation of the experience. In the spirit of optimism, see if you can treat a cancer diagnosis as an opportunity to change your relationship with life, as opposed to a death sentence.  The majority of cancer’s are slow acting and you have time to decide.  Even when they are not, panicking only hurts you more.  Try not to rush into treatments based on fear, and take the time to ask questions, get statistics, get second opinions.  Most of all, don’t be afraid to trust your gut and do what is right for you, even if no one else agrees or understands.  Your life is literally the only thing you have control over.

Once you have made decisions, embrace them and follow them down the rabbit hole to see what information they provide for your next steps. Don’t tune out and hand over the reigns to others, stay invested if you are able. Ask for help when you need it, ask for time and space if you need that too. As the majority of people choose conventional routes whether with natural “alternatives” or not, I have attempted to constrain this article to what natural things can be used alongside and after harder treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation.

Contemplate the difference between curing and healing.  Curing is the “elimination of disease”, which is what most people chase, while healing is becoming whole and coming to terms with your life, whatever it may turn out to be, and it needs your personal involvement to improve it’s quality through nutrition, exercise, social support, stress management, and a sense of connections to the the natural world.

I spend a lot of time in the health food industry, so granted I have a skewed sample of people I talk to, however, we do tend to get ‘survivors’ or partners of non-survivors looking for new options to the standard MD recommendations.  Many of them come after trying it the ‘hospital way’ or wanting to try something concurrently. The people who are the most upset are the ones who felt they were rushed or bullied into fast treatment and/or not listened to by their primary health care provider. There is no “cure” for cancer, because they still don’t know exactly why it happens. There also seems to be as many cancer types as there are new blood tests, so it makes sense to me that there would never be a one-cure-fits all. In my opinion, we need to stop treating the Big C as one giant monster and start treating people as individuals.

“Conventional medicine holds that the tumor is, in effect, the disease and, therefore, treatment is focused on combinations of protocols, such as chemotherapy and radiation, which destroy cancer cells, but can harm healthy cells as well. These protocols can buy time, but have no intrinsic healing properties. The yardstick of success is the 5-year survival rate. The biological repair approach views cancer as a systematic problem. A tumor or abnormal cells are symptoms of a biochemical breakdown which can be corrected with a comprehensive, non-toxic, metabolic program. Such a biorepair system seeks to balance and strengthen all body functions in order to produce healthy cells and restore well being. The yardstick of success is long term recovery.”
http://www.rethinkingcancer.org
An example of what a multi-faceted approach can look like:
http://www.rethinkingcancer.org/about/about-bio-repair.php

I favour this description because it outlines how “treatments that focus merely on killing cancer cells ignore the root cause of the problem – a breakdown in body chemistry causing abnormal cell production”. It provides a template for thinking about focusing on the host, not the tumor. I believe this holds true no matter what form your treatment takes.

Christiane Northrup, M.D wrote a book in 2010 (Women’s bodies, Women’s wisdom) that truly affected my perception of disease and how I felt about it.  She laid out some nice arguments around how what organs are affected relates to what message your body is trying to tell you. For many people it is somewhere they already had a weakness, and the body is escalating  its attempts to communicate.  For example, the multitude of cancers around the reproductive organs in women can mirror our skewed views of our bodies, sex, reproductive rights arguments, hormonal imbalances due to environment, and maybe even mortal fear for our offspring (my words). These can range from the obvious, imbalances in the throat point to communication, to the more subtle, fear is held in the belly. For others, it can be a shock, a sudden betrayal somewhere in their body when they have acknowledged no prior weakness there.

Two stories come to mind for me personally, I’ll share one, a close family member with breast cancer. She went through all of it, the “cut it off and you won’t need chemo”. Then, “do radiation so you won’t need chemo”.  Then, “oh you need chemo after all”. Then just being so sick.  When asked, she said she would not follow that path ever again, and she credits her survival (20+years) to the forcible confrontation it brought to her life regarding her choices as well as the techniques they taught concurrently regarding communicating with your body on a deeper lever, including visualization, meditation and expressing instead of repressing.  I also think a new term might be helpful, lets talk about thrival instead of survival, which only implies life but not quality of life.

hooded person sitting in a field

The chemo-fairy comes at night.

Let’s move on to some actionable things!  At some point a decision is made, and we are putting our hair, teeth and nails under our pillow and praying that the chemo-fairy brings us shiny quarters and not coal.  I say this without irony, as the vitamin-fairy will likely get the same amount of prayers and fears in the loneliness of night when we are faced with our own mortality.

Definitions & theory:

https://www.cancer.gov/types/leukemia/patient/cll-treatment-pdq
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/info/cancer-oncology

“CLL is usually treated with chemotherapy drugs. Although the majority of patients respond to these drugs, the researchers say most patients relapse and need repeated cycles of the treatments. With each cycle, the remission periods tend to decrease. The researchers say that as a result, patients often stop responding to treatment or are forced to stop because of severe side effects. According to the investigators, these side effects are a result of the chemotherapy medication being unable to distinguish between healthy cells and cancer cells.” This is not exactly news, but sometimes it bears repeating, when the treatment is no longer killing cancer effectively, but simply killing you, you can stop.  This particular cancer has a pretty harsh outlook in general, however focussing on the individual instead of the Big C can help build a foundation for healing rather than curing.

Psychological and emotional causes cannot be underestimated. Tangentially specific to CLL, in traditional Chinese medicine, blood disorders are always related to the spleen/pancreas and both are adversely affected by worry and anxiety.  Cancer is also always associated with stagnancy of some sort, whether it be of the blood, mucus, qi, old emotions or repressed resentments. Taking the time to delve and clear old blockages and stress responses can be one of the key differences in people who thrive.

Cancer is considered a symptom of Dampness in Traditional Chinese Medicine, so oxygenating cells and living in dry warm climates can help. Paul Pitchford (Healing with Whole Foods) draws a parallel to the dampness theory and how all chronic disease in Western Medicine starts with edema and affects electrical potential, enzymes and cell oxidation. Fight this by avoiding salt and sugar and increasing potassium (fruits & veggies), iodine (seaweed) and enzymes (raw unsalted saurkraut).  Boosting the thyroid will help internal drying by increasing cellular metabolism, and on a side note, supplements for the thyroid can go a long way to helping energy and mood.

Subsequently, herbs in all cultures used to treat cancer, tend to be bitter or aromatic which remove moisture and clear stagnation, Native American Chaparral, South American P’au D’arco and Suma, European Dandelion, etc.  I wouldn’t necessarily use these herbs while on conventional treatments however, as it might be too cleansing or trying on the body.  On that note, detoxification is mentioned quite a lot in alternative cancer therapies, but it does not work as an adjunct modality.  They are both extreme therapy’s and they work on opposite sides of the spectrum. Either wait until after you are finished your conventional therapy such as chemo/radiation, or do it long before you start them, to see if it can be of benefit to you.  It helps to do this under supervision from a willing health care practitioner.

What you can to is pay attention to whether you are displaying deficiency or excess symptoms and moderate your nutrition accordingly.  Do you need to feed yourself warm easy to digest nutrition to build your blood, or cooling, cleansing, bitter foods to help clear over saturated organs? Ayurvedic and Chinese traditions can help provide concrete ways to define yourself and your needs as an individual in both normal and stressful times.  Reading about them can sometimes bring insight into otherwise mysterious associations within the body.

PH and disease. There has been debate regarding the efficacy of the pH theory, however, to me it makes good sense regardless, if you simply look at the recommendations and the results in everyday life.  This company provides an easy to read breakdown on the theory and my favourite pH chart regarding the foods.

http://www.genuinehealth.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/PH-Paper-Brochure.pdf

“For years, doctors have linked oxygen supply with cancerous activity. Research shows acidosis (little to no oxygen) appears to allow pathogens and cancer cells to proliferate, whereas an alkaline pH (high oxygen levels) discourages cancer cell colony initiation and promotion. This explains why regular, deep belly breathing is so important – it feeds your body oxygen!” (Graci, The Path to Phenomenal Health, Wiley, 2005.) 

Luckily for us, “dampenss”, anxiety, pH, etc, all tend to point in the same directions nutritionally. Yay!  So holding all these things in mind at once, here is my resulting

List of Things to help:

  • Acupuncture and acupressure have both been shown to reduce chemo-related nausea and vomiting.
  • Massage has been proven very effective for pain relief in hospital cases (up to 60% less pain with a half hour massage)
  • Consider Shirodhara, which is an Ayurvedic treatment involving a steady stream of warm oil being poured onto the forehead.  I know, I know, its a fine line between health treatment and torture!  It is very calming and sustaining.
  • Breath deep.  Just do it.
  • Here are nutritional recommendations that come up again and again regarding cancer in general and CLL specifically.  I have found no contraindications, but feel free to ask your health care providers if you are worried.  I’ve focused on mostly nutritive and gentle action remedies.

Nutrition

Fish oil & Omega 3: Protects and heals, penetrates cell membranes to normalize electrical activity.  This is somewhere you don’t want to tread lightly.  Large amounts of fish oil are recommended, or other Omega-3 sources, however, fish is the easiest on a stressed out liver as it doesn’t have to be converted there. I’m talking 8 Tablespoons of flax oil, or 6 capsules of fish oil style large doses in some cases. Don’t start with that much, but don’t be afraid to work up to it.  If fish is not going to work for you, take your flax seed in the form of biochemist Dr. Johanna Budwig’s ratio of 1:2 – flax oil: quark/cottage cheese. There is a surprisingly long line of research backing up her work for over 60 years.  If you want to learn more about her cancer protocol don’t be afraid to look into it.
https://thetruthaboutcancer.com/budwig-diet-protocol-cancer/

Mushrooms (shitake, reishi, maitake, chaga): anti-tumour and immune boosting
Fruit: Organic apples, papaya – provide enzymes and don’t add to dampness
Whole Grains: Millet and kasha are the only alkaline grains, but oats are also good because they strengthen and calm the body.
B12:larger doses, in the form of methylcolabamin
Vitamin C : (large doses )the buffered form such as Esther-C or from food, for general health and side effects:  “Vitamin C in massive amounts helps the liver to neutralize the resulting enormous quantities of toxic by-products… of chemotherapy or radiation therapy” (Paul Pitchford, Healing with Whole Foods)

Feeding the body and the blood:
Vitamins might be harder to break down for compromised digestive system and weakened organs, so you might find whole food nutrients more bioavailable than vitamin tablets: Spirulina, chlorella, blue-green algae, seaweed, royal jelly, nettles, mugwort mochi (japanese sweet rice)

Helping with side and after effects
Kelp, seaweed, wheat grass, barley juice
Fennel seeds, tea or chewing
Astragalus to recover: this can be used long term!
Vitamin D, Vit A (Cod liver oil, carrots, watercress, spinach, broccoli)
Probiotics, get yourself some Bio-K or other high quality acidophilus supplements, and make sure your intestines have the bacteria to function happily as possible.  (Please do not get cheap ones here)

The good news is, now is your chance to eat copious amounts of raspberries and blackberries, as they are mentioned in many places along with blueberries, bilberries, cranberries and leafy greens as being specifically helpful to cancer and autoimmune disease.  Look into thyroid helpers, such as iodine from  seaweed sources.  L-Tyrosine, while being warned against for melanoma, seems to have no contra-indications for CLL and can have significant mood and energy benefits.

Specific to CLL with clinical trials

Below are some exciting supplements that are seeing results both with and without conventional therapy:

Tumeric and Green Tea are mentioned in many places as being used in natural treatment for CLL. The active ingredients being Curcumin and EGCG used for treating inflammation and stress respectively. There is some promising research out there:

http://clincancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/15/4/1123.long

Make sure to get the most bioavailable curcumin supplement you can or dive in and do it yourself!  For those who have ever used eastern spices in cooking, the idea of needing fat and heat to release the good stuff will not be a foreign idea.

Tumeric Paste:

  • ½ cup turmeric powder
  • 1 cup spring water (+ ½ extra if necessary)
  • 1.5 tsp ground black pepper
  • 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil

Directions:

  1. Mix water (1 cup) with turmeric powder in a pan and slowly heat it up and stir for 6-10 minutes until you get a thick paste (add the additional ½ cup water if it is too thick).
  2. Add black pepper and oil and continue stirring until all the ingredients are fully mixed in together.
  3. Allow the paste to cool. Store in the refrigerator in a jar for up to 1-2 weeks.

Then you can make warm or cold “Golden Milk”:

  • 1 teaspoon of organic coconut oil (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric paste
  • 1 cup of almond or coconut milk
  • Organic, raw, unfiltered honey for taste

Here’s a site with easy to read ideas on other ways to use your paste:

How To Make {& Use} Highly Bioavailable Turmeric Golden Paste

We’ve been hearing about the benefits of Green Tea for years, anti-aging, antioxitant, balanced energy and more, but recently it has been proven to be anti-stress as well.  Two of the most studied active ingredients include L-theanine an amino acid promoting calm and clarity, and the polyphenol EGCG for stress  and also more specific to fighting cancer.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3509513/

Get specific supplements or drink lots of tea*.  A quality loose leaf or especially matcha will have the highest amounts of these things.

*The only caveat I’ve seen pertinent to CLL for green tea is that you need to add lemon or milk to it or drink it between meals so it doesn’t reduce your iron absorbtion.

Almost everyone has heard of the anti-oxidant benefits Green Tea.  Anti-oxidants are almost always mentioned in Cancer situations, with conflicting conclusions all the way from anti-oxidants help cancer cells grow, to anti-oxidants help mop up the poisons that cancer cells cause.  To be safe, you might want to stick with mostly food sources instead of high dose supplements of things like A & E, but with green tea and its derivatives there seems to be enough evidence to support using it during and after chemotherapy, both for fighting cancer and for mood improvement.

I’m interested, though still new to, Magnolia extract.  There seems to be a number of studies around cancer with it and it also helps fight cortisol and establish more natural sleeping patterns. Also beginning to look into Maca  as it is being studied for cancer and has a positive effect on the strength and energy of the body.

With the water rising, take a deep breath and dive under.
man in water looking away

blue ice

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Outro:

Sometimes I wonder if people survive in spite of chemotherapy as opposed to because of it.  Doctors will recommend it even with no positive prognosis, assuming people need some kind of action rather than none, so people feel like they are fighting the good fight. I used to feel more anger around the perceived callousness of one-track mind medicine, but I try to keep in mind that we are all learning all the time, and if we want others to keep their minds open, we will have to do the same.  Here are some random chemotherapy discussions for anyone looking to delve further.  Are my spots showing?

Chemo thoughts, for delving:

David refused chemo and healed leukemia naturally

http://www.naturalnews.com/055790_cancer_chemotherapy_ineffective_medicine.html

Are chemotherapy drugs as successful as they seem?

What Happens In Your Body When You Drink? The Biology of Getting Drunk

Many adults have experienced intoxication, more commonly known as getting drunk. A biological process occurs in your body when you drink alcohol that causes intoxication. The body rapidly absorbs alcohol, mostly through the walls of the small intestine. The liver processes most alcohol. Alcohol also affects your kidneys, causing increased urination and possible dehydration, which can result in a hangover.

Most people want to know “how much is too much to drink.” The legal intoxication limit is .08 percent nationally for a person to be considered a drunk driver. Alcohol affects every person differently, depending on their sex, how much food they have eaten, their overall health and their tolerance for alcohol. Even two drinks can cause intoxication in some people.

The effects of alcohol also vary based on the amount of alcohol consumed. One or two drinks usually cause a euphoric feeling. Three to six drinks cause sleepiness and a lack of coordination. Increasing alcohol consumption results in confusion, a stupor, a coma and eventual death.

Provided by: BestCollegesOnline.org

 

Biology of Getting Drunk Infographic

Carrot man

Sneak Nutrition into Your Loved Ones! Tip #1: Sea Salt

Do you, like me, have a pretty good working knowledge of nutrition, opinions to spare, a strong belief that you are, in fact, what you eat…

…and someone(s) in your life who couldn’t care less?

Well, after much lamenting, cajoling, mentoring, throwing up handing, and finally saying “fine, eat what you like i’m putting seaweed in my dinner dammit!” -ing, I have come up with a few tricks to appease my sense that time is running out to stuff adequate nutrition into another human being.  Because, lets face it, it ain’t my body, so I really don’t have the right to feel put out by it all.

Educate, don’t Berate!  (is that how the saying goes?)

IN THE MEANTIME:

#1. Spruce up the Salt

One good thing about fussy eaters, is that they are usually also too lazy to remedy a situation unless it is very uncomfortable.  So, get yourself a salt shaker that is also a grinder, some unrefined course sea salt (grey if you can get away with it) and some seaweed of your choice.  Mix it all together and pour into grinder.  Then, get rid of any other salt options in the house.  If they want to saltify, they must grind!  I haven’t actually had any complaints, as it really does just taste salty.

TIPS:

grinder:  if you can afford ceramic parts, great, they don’t rust.  If not, plastic or stainless steel will do the job.  If you can’t find one easily, you can buy one of those specialty salts in any grocer to start with and then just keep refilling it with your own mix.
salt:  get the biggest course salt you can find, if it is damp (high quality) you might need to spread it out on something (pan, towel, board) and dry it out first.  The grey colour is because it hasn’t been bleached or refined and it still contains all those tasty trace minerals that we actually need.  They also help minimize the damage excess salt causes in the body.  After all, we came from the sea originally right?

seaweed:  This is all preference… As I am lazy, I buy Dulse flakes, which are already cut up for you and mix well with salt.  I’ve also used Alaria, which come in black strands and breaks up nicely when dry.  Kelp gives you a littel extra calcium and Nori a little extra protein.  Use your imagination!

So, don’t do the salty dance of guilt, just spruce* your salt up!

*you know you Can eat spruce needles (or at least make vit. C rich tea outa them), but you might find the taste a little strong and distracting for salt…

a beautiful head of baking soda

In the Beginning, there was Baking Soda..

Well, it has now been even longer (7months?) with the no-shampoo washing, and I am still a happy camper!  It does get knotty pretty fast, but with long curly hair that is a never-ending hassle and tussle with me anyway. 

One of my favorite side effects is that my brush has never been cleaner!  You know that wierd waxy, dirt buildup that tends to get in the bottom of combs and brushes if you use them alot? (really hard to clean, and kinda gross)  Gone, gone, gone!  (girls you know what i mean right??)  It took a few months but now my natural wood bristle brush stays nice and woody no matter how much i use it..

I think I have more split ends then before, so I might try putting a little oil on the ends once in a while, or brushing more often to distribute the natural oils.  But it remains nice and curly, bouncy after wetting, and very product free.  I still have some natural spray in conditioner, left-over from the old days, that i use for special occassions, less than once a month.  To be honest, I barely wash it at all anymore, even with baking soda…1-2 times a month —pure laziness!  I love it!

Now who’s the soda-dope?

Upon returning from a trip i came across some strange new form of purified water in my fridge left by the house sitter…as i searched for the ingredients, guess what popped out?? That's right… SODIUM BICARBONATE
(otherwise known as baking soda)
Now, this water was touting itself as being designed for professional athletes so i gots to wonderin'…why would Baking Soda be good in my water?  I knew about the antacid effect for treating heartburn etc. -but that is a rather extreme treatment that shouldn't be used all the time -never mind in my daily drinking water (especially when -as a serious athlete of course- i try very hard to consume 2 liters of  water per day).  So after much searching i found some explanations that both made sense and were not in the form of a chemical formula. 

It actually does stem from its 'ant-acid' or 'buffering' attitude towards life.  What do muscles make when pushed hard to work?  Lactic Acid!  and that's what causes the soreness and apparently fatigue.  So basically, baking soda raises the pH of the blood and buffers the effects of this acid in the body, albeit in very small amounts and it is only really helpful it you are really working hard, not just a stroll around the block! 

This was taken from an article that i thought was funny, yet still informative, as they were worrying about baking soda doping for the Beijing Olympics:


"For optimum effects it should be taken with water, ideally before exercise, on an empty stomach. Most people take about 20g, although it can cause problems."
 
This idea also went further in explaining why baking soda is good for the teeth, and not just because of its soft abrasion quality, but also in the neutralization of the acid causing bacteria that contribute to tooth decay.

 
Ok, now the pH factor has been introduced and i am jumping down the rabbit hole…this is one of my favorite mysterious subjects!  One that can be so simple in the imagining and so complex to try to explain.  hwaa hwaa hwaa (villainous laugh)..

tip: don’t take baking soda across the border..

Ok, yes!  This is my advice for the day.  Baking soda is cheap everywhere, so just buy some wherever you are going.   (Apparently border guards think it is suspicious to carry baking soda in its original box, various vitamins all jumbled together and mysterious green powders in unmarked containers… Vive la Health Revolucion!)

Tips you can find on a box of Albertsons Baking Soda:  (and no, brand matters not)

  • Household Cleaner:  scouring without scratching (actually i use nothing else for cleaning the tub and sinks, cheap, safe and awesome!)
  • Refrigerator Freshener:  (we all know this one from Arm and Hammer commercials, no?)
  • Baking Specialties:  see favorite cookbooks
  • For Brushing Teeth: to whiten and freshen (and i've discovered that it can be very useful in the 'oops there is no toothbrush OR toothpaste scenario'… aka fingerbrush)
  • Prevent Litter Box Odors:  Spread whole box over bottom of litter box and cover with cat litter to extend the life of it. (go through a lot of baking soda though, i imagine!)
  • As an antacid:  occasional usage! and well dissolved in a liquid.

(actually i also learned in a herb course that baking soda mixed with water can be used under circumstances where the throat is closing up due to allergic reaction… now i can't find published proof of this, so use at yer own risk… but if i am stuck in a cabin with only baking soda, you can be sure i will try it!)

Maybe it's time to look at how baking soda works chemically huh?

Tune in next week for my continuing obsession with baking soda!

my current hair update

The Rest of the Story:

(for the beginning of the story)

Well, i am now on month 5 and things are maintaining great!  I have tested my head in Vancouver weather (damp and cool), Toronto weather (cold, and dry with central heating), and touring through the midwestern states (sunny, cold and DRY), staying in hotels and swimming in chlorine.  My tendency towards dry flaky scalp remains relatively the same, reflecting more my neglect to take my winter Omega oils and stay hydrated..  I can't remember how staticky my hair was last year, so i will comment that it is slightly electric when subjected to toques, and i might try rubbing some light oil through my hair after showering next time.

In well water (hard water) it performed great, bar soap leaving more of a residue on my body than the baking soda and vinegar did on my hair. i should admit that i don't wash my hair all that often either…Maybe once a week, if that, rinsing in between for a pick-me-up! 

So far i have not got any hygiene comments from family, friends or the general public. My hair remains curly and full enough and brushing it is as much of a pain in the ass as it always was…

create sludge that turns into clay!

gotta love the word sludge…

THIS POST IS FOR MY SISTER CARRIE WHO IS VERY GOOD AT WHIPPING THINGS UP IN THE KITCHEN TO ENTERTAIN HER 2-YEAR OLD!


Baking Soda Clay:

there are many ratio's out there…i picked the simplest!

    2 cups cornstarch
    2 cups baking soda
    1 1/4 cup cold water


Mix powders in pot
add water while stirring
heat, stirring constantly until mashed potatoey
dump onto plate, cover with damp cloth, let cool.
squish and knead dough (kids join in now) and play!

let dry and paint if desired:)

I will get back to you when i have tried the stuff for myself…

Baking soda and the hair

So Bridget has been washing her hair with baking soda for a while now, and her hair is Still dark and beautiful and shiny.  I figure i should really give it a go!  She found a soap free community online which is quite fascinating…  They call it no 'poo , and there are discussions about it here as well. 

(I remember my boyfriend in grade 10, his parents were talking about washing with only water and drinking martinis, not necessarily in that order)…at the time i thought they were crazy, now i will become one of the crazies myself! 

My hair is thick, curly, and on the reddish side of brown/blonde.  I tend to have dry scalp which gets out of control if i'm not careful, and if I don't brush my hair Every day it turns into matts which i just wanna cut off.  I figure if this works for me that is a very good sign…

I already use Apple Cider Vinegar as a rinse so i guess I am halfway there:  I find it helps with itchy/flaky scalp, softens the hair, and gets the scalp to the acidic pH our skin is supposed to be at (soap alkalinizes and brings it out of balance). 

Well i keep talking about it so i won't have to actually do it…sigh:

 

Day 1:  Assemble Supplies  (no, that is Not another way to procrastinate!)

baking soda

cinnamon

apple cider vinegar (i use raw organic)

plastic squeezy bottle

 

Day 2:  Create Sludge

WASH

1Tablespoon of baking soda, a dash of cinnamon (optional)  and 1cup of water

RINSE

1/8 cup Apple Cider Vinegar diluted in 1cup of water

 

NOTE:  mix cinnamon and baking soda together BEFORE you add water or the cinnamon will clump

ok, i didn't find a squeezy bottle, so i used a glass and just stirred it up while in the shower and then dumped it on my hair slowly….
doesn't really feel like much, cloudy water that you are massaging into your scalp.

Rinse with water.

Feels kinda squeaky and like straw, so i move on to the Apple cider vinegar stage using the same cup  (I am a laaazy showeree)

leave it on for as long as possible before rinsing off and

voila!!  Feels like straw that is less squeaky…

i dry my hair and wonder if i actually got all the baking soda out

hair half dry, actually feels pretty good.