March Forward

My March Mantra

More chewing, less food

More movement, less television

More productivity, less procrastination

More water, less coffee

More gardening, less grocery shopping

More media-free meals, less mindless flipping/surfing/browsing

More time outside, less time inside

Turns out it’s still winter (or finally winter?) here in central Virginia.  I woke up to a beautiful blanket of white and it’s still coming down heavy.  Fortunately/unfortunately Charlottesville shuts down at the first sign of snow (must be a Southern thing), which is good because all I want to do is sit in my PJ’s, drink coffee tea, and watch the snow fall but it’s a bad thing because no patients means no money-making today!

I’ve been wanting to share a little underarm update with you for several weeks and now’s as good a time as any.

Back in January I gave up antiperspirant because of the research linking aluminum exposure with breast cancer and Alzheimers.

Aluminum is present in our daily lives in ways that we don’t even think of, such as most food items containing baking powder, tap water, toothpaste, table salt and other food additives, cookware.   I know that I can’t eliminate all aluminum exposure from my life but there are a few simple things that I can do to cut it down.

Like forgoing commercial antiperspirants.

Just like many readers told me would happen, I did indeed go through a stinky stage.  Gross, I know.  It wasn’t that bad, I just had to shower daily (which I usually do anyway) and refresh my (natural) perfume a little more often.  During this time I experimented with a few different all-natural commercial deodorants.

I now use three different types on deodorant, depending on the time of day and where I am.  Thanks to reader suggestions, my favorite is a simple mix of coconut oil and baking soda.    I just melt a few tablespoons of virgin, unrefined coconut oil, add in a teaspoon or two of baking soda, and I’ve got deodorant!  I rub a little pea-sized ball under my armpit when I get out of the shower then continue with my moisturizing routine and work the leftover oil into my hands.  There is something I really enjoy about this little ritual!

Other times of day I use either the crystal roller or a spray made from rubbing alcohol, lavender essential oil, and tea tree oil.  This homemade spray is supposedly very similar to the Weleda deodorant spray, for a fraction of the cost.

I am now happily stink free* and my aluminum exposure has been reduced!

*Dehydration/excessive amounts of coffee or garlic can still make me smelly.  If you want to give up antiperspirant I suggest that you focus on drinking plenty of water (more than usual) during the initial few weeks to, umm, make the transition easier.

I found this article, Dangers of Aluminum from Global Healing Center, interesting.  It offers concise lists of sources of aluminum in our lives and associated risks.

Time for a little living room yoga! #iwillmovetoday

8 responses to “March Forward

  1. I make a coconut oil based deodorant too. It’s my favorite-smells so nice! For the spray deodorant, what is the ratio of rubbing alcohol and essential oils? I’d love to try making that one. Thanks!

  2. gracefulfitness

    Hi Amy, I didn’t use a formula but it’s roughly 99% alcohol. In other words, fill a small spray bottle almost to the top with alcohol then add a few drops of essential oil and tea tree. The lavender smells nice and both provide an antibacterial boost to combat odor. It can sting a little if used immediately after shaving but only for a moment. Enjoy!

  3. More Walks…And More LOST!

  4. I just went started using Tom’s deodorant, and I was a super-strength Secret devotee. I was REALLY smelly for 3 weeks, but I seem to have regulated, and now I really love it. Since reading a post you did a couple months ago about natural products, I’ve gone all natural: mascara, lip gloss, tooth paste, and plain old soap for my face. It feels good!

    Oh, and as far as my workout: 6 miles of running and a sweaty meeting with my newly-former boss. If you sweat, that counts as a workout, right?


  5. Thanks to your first post I’ve been using either nothing or the coconut oil & baking soda mixture too. I’m waiting to see how it works in the summer. Thanks again for the info I’m glad I made the switch!

    • gracefulfitness

      Awesome! Once summer comes my pits won’t be the only thing sweating, it is SO humid here that I shower several times a day and postpone any hugs until fall!

  6. I was thinking about you recently! My stinky self has recently switched to a homemade deodorant almost identical to yours. I melted some coconut oil with arrowroot and baking soda and added a few drops each of lavender and peppermint essential oils. Since I started using it, I haven’t had mid-day smellies! Bonus– for the first half of the day I smell freakin’ fantastic! 😉

    At first I thought the baking soda may irritate my skin, seeing how it’s so sensitive. While the feeling is a little gritty, my skin hasn’t been irritated, so I’m glad!

    • gracefulfitness

      HA, love that your pits make you think of me. 😉
      I love the addition of peppermint oil, I’ll have to borrow that!

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