Exercise is life up in here. If I miss my workout, I tend to be grumpy, less patient, and if I miss it repetitively I tend to get a little depressed. There’s no secret that I’m a sweaty beast when I work out, my kids avoid post workout hugs like the plague. I had been using traditional deodorant and/or antiperspirant since I can remember, oh the high school days of sweating during gym class, not such a fond memory… I digress, the further I venture into becoming my healthiest self, the more I realize how many toxins are in things we use daily. Have I eliminated everything, no, but I’m trying to avoid the things where I can.


After learning that antiperspirants block your sweat glands, and hearing that the aluminum used to do so has been linked to women who get breast cancer, getting it 15 years earlier than the women who didn’t use antiperspirants, I went on the hunt for a more natural deodorant. I had a little breast cancer scare a few years back, it ended up being nothing but it still scared me enough to make me want to be proactive instead of reactive with my health. Unfortunately the first glass slipper didn’t fit. So I thought I’d share with you my experience trying to find the best option for me.

Option 1: Nubian Heritage Coconut & Papaya 24 Hour Deodorant

I’ll be honest, I’m cheap, found this deodorant at Walmart. After spending an average of $4 on my old antiperspirant deodorant, paying double that was a bit of a shocker. I took a quick glance over of the ingredients and saw they used vegetable glycerine (be-still my vegan heart, though it doesn’t claim being vegan on the wrapper) but also that the shea butter is a fair trade ingredient. If you’ve never looked up fair trade, I’d encourage you to learn about it, not just for your sake but for your fellow man, woman and child.

I liked this deodorant for the first couple of days, especially the smell. It did the job a deodorant should do BUT my armpits didn’t like it. I started to get rashy and irritated skin. I’m guessing it’s because of the sodium stearate, fancy talk for baking soda. I used coconut oil and baking soda as a face wash for a while and had the same reaction. On to option 2.


Oh how I miss that long hair!!!!

Option 2: Nourish Organic Stick Deodorant, Almond Vanilla

I made sure to check the ingredients for sodium stearate and was in luck, this deodorant was even a little bit cheaper, about $6 a stick. Which was surprising because it seems like organic means spendy. I loved that they promote being vegan, cruelty free and chemical free. I used this deodorant for a few weeks before realizing the negatives. I worked hard to earn my Insanity shirt and I started seeing what looked to be stains in the armpits. {insert frowny face here} Thankfully I have a handy Fels-Naptha bar that works great for getting out oil stains. Also realized that I wasn’t feeling as fresh and deodorized as I should. Another stick bites the dust, onto option 3…

Option 3: Schmidt’s Rose + Vanilla Deodorant

I’m starting to see a pattern here, each of these deodorants has vanilla in them. Makes me think of the 90’s when Vanilla Fields perfume was popular, remember Sunflowers? That was my favorite. Any who, I was a little nervous trying this deodorant because it also has sodium stearate in it, you’d think I’d learn. I put a post out on FB in the Chicked Nation Group to see if anyone had a recommendation, this brand was the top, top, top choice. On a whim, we were at a natural foods store in Hood River, on our way to camp when I found some. Ten dollars, was a risk I was willing to take since Troy was paying for it, even though we pool our funds. Mind games at their finest. {Yes I’m rolling my eyes at myself.} But guess what…. Winner, winner, vegan dinner! I’m on pit stick number 2 of this same brand and I’m still loving it. Even though it uses coconut oil also, it’s not so much that it slicks on easy. A couple swipes and I’m good for the day and there’s no new pit stains. There must be a small enough amount of baking soda that it doesn’t bother me, I guess I’ll never really know. I’m just happy to have found something that works! Maybe next stick I’ll try a different flavor, who am I kidding, I’m a creature of habit. Although, they do have a holiday line. ♥O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree ♥


Want to know what’s in your deodorant or other cosmetics???

As I was hunting to learn more about ingredients in deodorant, I found this website called EGW’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database. It lists all sorts of make-ups, lotions, soaps, etc. and rates them. High risk or low risk. Check it out!


White Bean & Cabbage Soup

I don’t think I could ever get too much soup, it’s one of those things I could eat every day during the cold winter months. I’ve learned so much about the different benefits of eating beans and cabbage, garlic and onions, peas and lentils, and so many other souper soup ingredients. Even leeks, which I had never heard of until last year… I was seriously the girl who only ate salad, or broccoli and a few other veggies in between. Branching out and trying new things has really made cooking interesting, fun and tasty! Plus I just feel good.

I am pretty sure I was suffering from leaky gut before I opted to do “Microbiome Bootcamp” in September. If you’ve never heard of leaky gut, or gut health, please take a listen to this {{podcast}} by Chalene Johnson, it’s actually a 2 part series but so much good information. Of course I self diagnosed myself, after not only listening to this podcast but reading a few books on gut health, and realizing I had an upset stomach almost every night! After deciding I was sick and tired of feeling, sick and tired, I committed to following the meal plan in the book “The Microbiome Diet,” by Raphael Kellman, M.D., and it did the trick. It’s basically a process of elimination, and then focusing on eating really good foods for the bacteria in your guts. I realized that my system is sensitive to gluten and soy. If I keep the amount of those two foods to a minimum, my stomach is happy. If I eat too many, my system reacts sort of like a food allergy does, a little bit will makes you uncomfortable but a lot will result in a full on reaction. But really the whole plan is about balancing the good bacteria in your gut.

When I found the White Bean and Cabbage Soup recipe on Facebook, all I could think was gut health! Leeks and carrots are a couple of the gut health superfoods that Dr. Kellman talks about in his book. I decided to tweak the original recipe a bit because black pepper can be a system irritant, and I didn’t have a few of the original ingredients. I think it worked out rather nicely.

White Bean & Cabbage Soup


  • 1 Leek, roughly chopped
  • 2 Carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes, add more if you like a little extra heat
  • 1 tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1 tbsp Celery Seeds
  • 1 small Green(or Purple) Cabbage – shredded
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 1/4 cup Dry Dill
  • 10 Sprigs Thyme or 1 tbsp Dry Thyme
  • 15 oz canned Fire Roasted Tomatoes, diced
  • 10 cups Vegan ‘Chicken’ Vegetable Broth
  • Splash of Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Himalayan Salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste (optional, I say optional because black pepper is an irritant)
  • 2-15 oz canned White Navy Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup Italian Parsley, chopped
  • 2 tbsp Fresh Chives, snipped


  1. Heat up a large soup pot over medium low heat. Add the leeks with a splash of water and a shake or two of salt.

  2. Stir in the carrot, red pepper flakes, cumin, and celery seeds, cook everything together for about 5 minutes until the leeks have softened.

  3. Add the shredded cabbage, bay leaves, dill and thyme, (add optional black pepper here) give it a stir and cook together another 5 minutes or so until the cabbage has softened. Cooking with a lid on the pan will help steam the cabbage and soften it up faster.

  4. Pour in the tomatoes and vegetable broth and bring to a simmer. Let the soup simmer covered for another 15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings with more Himalayan salt and the apple cider vinegar.

  5. Add the navy beans to the cabbage soup. Cook a few more minutes until just warmed through.

  6. Serve hot, garnished with the fresh parsley and chives. The garnishes gave the soup extra flavor. Try adding more beans, or even cooked quinoa for a heartier dish.

    Enjoy hot now, and reheated tomorrow for extra flavor absorption into the cabbage and beans!

Question for ya…

I changed the order of ingredients from the original recipe to the order of use. Do you think it’s more helpful to leave canned ingredients, spices, and produce grouped together or to have them in order of use? I’d love your feedback. ❤


Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

I remember eating the pumpkin seeds after carving pumpkins every year as a kid.  When my kids were little, I had tried making them a few times with no success. I think the problem was that I kept using oil. After hunting through recipes, I finally found one that I enjoy. Since Thanksgiving is just around the corner I wanted to make pumpkin purée for pumpkin pie of course, as a bonus I get to have pumpkin seeds too. This recipe is so simple but you could make it more complex. Try using a seasoned salt or making the pumpkin seeds a sweet treat using a bit of sugar and cinnamon. 👌🏻

Hooray for pumpkin seeds and depression fighting tryptophan! 


  • Raw pumpkin seeds
  • Himalayan salt


1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. 

2. Rinse pumpkin seeds in a colander. Lay them out on a paper towel to absorb some moisture. 

3. Spread seeds, in a single layer, onto a baking sheet. (You could place line the sheet with parchment paper to make for easier clean up.) Sprinkle evenly with Himalayan salt or seasonings of your choice.

4. Bake on middle rack uncovered for 35 minutes or until seeds are dry. Stir after 20 minutes.

5. Allow seeds to cool completely before storing in a container or they will become soft. I usually let them air dry for 24 hours before storing them. (If they make it that long!)