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My journey to healing fibromyalgia

My journey to healing fibromyalgia

Today I feel like is the day where I write about things that has helped my fibromyalgia greatly over the years to be non-existent. I do still have some days where it will bother me, but not to the point I was back in 2009.

Let me fill you in on where I came from to lead you where I am now in my health.

I was first diagnosed with Fibromyalgia back in 2003, I was only 23 years old. All the doctors and specialists I went to said that I was very young to have to deal with something like I had. On top of the fibromyalgia I also had an unspecified spodylitis, meaning my spine was fusing together, a high anti-nuclear antibody (ANA) count, which is your body fighting itself on a daily basis, and endometriosis which was debilitating pain the first day of my cycle. Lots of fatigue, widespread pain, brain fog, and basically my youth taken away in a very short time.

How I functioned was taking pain pills on a daily basis and sometimes half a muscle relaxer and then a pain pill later to be able to make it thru the long days…and the days were LONG! I even was on Methotrexate for the spodylitis, an anti-malaria for who knows what, and Relafen as a daily anti-inflammatory. I was also living in Alaska at the time, so it was always cold, which is not good for fibromyalgia. Lugging around all the cold weather gear, a space heater at my desk 24-7 and constant tea and coffee to try and stay warm.

I also couldn’t stop my life for my condition, so I had to work a full time (high stress) job for a thriving engineering company, and after work I had a lot of functions with the church I was affiliated with Tuesday thru Sunday. I was living off of 4-5 hours of sleep a day, and I felt like I was dying. Plus I don’t think anyone really cared, or believed how much pain I was in daily because I had to hide it so people wouldn’t think I was complaining for attention. Really I just wanted someone to understand…

I tried going to naturopaths, but that was getting expensive with little results. The only doctor I didn’t quit going to was my chiropractor, which was actually the one who helped me start finding answers. (So not all cracks are quacks). I have been very fortunate to find some awesome chiropractors! They kept on me to clean up my diet and made me feel bad for the horrible foods and energy drinks I consumed, which I thank them now.

The only bad thing about chiropractors is, if you don’t drill them for questions, they will just keep you coming back and adjusting you. But that is only a band-aid for a underlying condition.

When I moved from Alaska to Portland, Oregon I felt like I was free from the cold… But that was only the beginning of my healing journey, because it rains A LOT here! I am a walking barometer… the day before it rains, I feel it. So not only internally, but environmentally I had triggers.

I also was starting to realize that everything that I put in my mouth was making me have pain. Like I was digesting knives type of pain. That was when I went gluten free, and within one month the endometriosis pain went from a 20 on the pain scale to a 5! I was amazed! There was one instance the month before where I had a pain attack as I was driving home, which was a 40 minute drive…I really should have either pulled over or gone to the ER. But I made it home and felt like I was dying.

I had to learn how to read labels, how to decode all the chemical language in packaged food, and to learn how to cook all over again. I was a really good cook…before I went gluten free… I subscribed to a lot of gluten free blogs, tried a lot of failed recipes, learned which restaurants I could get around the whole gluten issue.

Then six months later I tried going dairy free because I had horrible acne. I figured there were enough dairy subs out there so I could survive. A lot of my recipes on my blog were actually not bad for being desperate for something tasty to eat. My acne went down a little bit, but now that I had eliminated dairy from my diet I realize I was actually lactose intolerant.

When you eliminate something from your diet and later re-introduce it, the symptoms come back 10 times as strong. At least if it was something your body was fighting.

Then a year later, and I’m still dealing with the pain, my chiropractor mentions to try going off grains because they have been shown to loosen the ligaments and cause the bones to slip out of joint, (a term called ligament laxity). So I give it a shot. I used to eat oatmeal everyday for breakfast, so that sure wasn’t helping me. I did notice the pain getting better, but I didn’t really know what to eat, so I made a lot of bean soups for protein. That was when I realized that legumes were the main trigger for my fibromyalgia flare-ups!

Over the last 12 years I had to learn by trial and error because the medical industry is not interesting in healing you, but masking the symptoms. When I read 10 years ago that people were able to put their fibromyalgia into remission it would bring me to tears, because I never thought that would be me EVER! But today I do not take pharmaceutical medicines. I really can’t find any that don’t have gluten, dairy, or grain products in them. There are some, and I do have them as a backup if I REALLY need something, but that has not happened in a while.

So what did I do besides eliminate foods that triggered pain? I eat organic! The pesticides, herbicides, and GMO foods are HORRIBLE for a compromised immune system! I shop the perimeter of the grocery store, and just about everything that I buy has to be cooked. I don’t own a microwave (they are just as bad and kill the nutrients in your food).

I also take a combo of supplements and essential oils to help maintain my overall health. Three key supplements are Vanadyl Sulfate also known as vanadium, which helps insulin production. With me being hypoglycemic, this was key! Because when I was feeling like I was hungry I found my body hurt the most, but vanadium helped. Not everyone believes they have blood sugar issues, but try vanadium which is a natural source from mushrooms and shellfish, and see how your body feels. It won’t hurt you if you don’t have insulin problems.

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Another supplement which is a trace mineral is Chromium Picolinate, which helps keep blood sugar at normal levels by improving the way your body uses insulin. So think of Vanadium as the car, and Chromium as the driver which takes your food and delivers it to the right places for you to utilize nutrients. It works really well to balance blood sugar spikes if you tend to eat a lot of sugary foods such as fruit, dried fruit, or juices.

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The last key supplement is an amino acid called L-Glutamine. This supplement helps heal a leaky gut, improves brain function, and helps in cell hydration to recover faster from injuries. I take this first thing in the morning on an empty stomach (which is key), and wait about an hour before eating breakfast. This should be taken EVERY morning for best results. I get the powdered form and put a teaspoon scoopful in my mouth and wash it down with some water, that way I know I’m getting every last drop. It has no taste, so that’s even better!

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This has become quite lengthy, so I will cut it short here and will write a part two on essential oils I take for different symptoms, and ingredients to look out for to minimize flare ups.

If you have any questions or tips that has helped you in healing fibromyalgia please leave a comment below, I would love to hear about it! I have included links to the three supplement brands I use that are free of bad ingredients and paleo safe. I do not get paid for recommending these products, I am honestly just offering tips that has helped me.

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Posted by on August 15, 2015 in A day in the life of Jeni, Health

 

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Chicken Butternut Squash Soup – paleo

The season is changing and it’s almost time to break out the fingerless gloves again. 🍂🍃🍁Which usually means I start craving my comfort foods and squashes of all sizes. 

This was totally based on a feeling and I’m glad how it turned out. Although I didn’t get a picture of it… But that’s because it was eaten too fast! 😋🍜

I haven’t been the best cook this year, as in I’ve been too lazy to cook for myself so I eat whatever my boyfriend whips up, which is usually just chicken….pretty boring. 

But I am known as the soup queen and I never seem to fail at that. All other paleo recipes…well I basically am the only one that will choke them down…it’s not been a pretty experience. I have yet to whip up a thick mayo yet… 

So enough about the paleo fails, here’s a winner! 🏆

Paleo Chicken Butternut Squash Soup

Ingredients:

• 1/2 butternut squash quartered and peeled

• 1/2 onion, chopped 

• 3 celery stocks with leaves, chopped 

• 2 chicken breast cut into small pieces  

• 2-3 carrots chopped

• 1/2 head Bok Choy (not the dark leafy green kind, see image for the right kind) or savory cabbage, chopped

  
(Image courtesy of farmersalmanac.com) 

• 1-2 teaspoons salt to taste

• 1 teaspoon garlic powder

• 1 teaspoon dried basil

• 1 teaspoon dried parsley

• 1/2 teaspoon celery seed

• 1 teaspoon ground ginger

• 3 capfuls Apple cider vinegar

• 1-2 drops lemongrass oil, optional (DōTerra)

• 1 box of chicken stock

• 2-3 cups of water

The Method:

Sauté in a Dutch oven or large sauce pan on Medium-High heat the butternut squash cubes, onion, celery, carrots until slightly tender. 

Add garlic powder, basil, parsley, celery seed, ground ginger, and half the amount of salt. 

Add cubed chicken raw and until it’s cooked halfway. 

Add chicken stock and water, and turn heat up to high. Stir. 

When the soup begins to boil, turn down to low and add the chopped Bok Choy or savory cabbage. Stir. 

Cover and simmer for about 20-30 min or until chicken is cooked thru. 

Now add the rest of the salt and season to taste, add 3 capfuls of apple cider vinegar, and a few drops lemongrass oil (optional). 

Take out about 1-2 cups of soup and blend until creamy and add back into the soup. 

Turn off heat and soup is ready to serve. 

A slight variation is to add in slowly a raw scrambled egg and stir until cooked and sprinkle dayia white cheese on top. (Dayia is not considered paleo due to canola oil in the ingredients, I just took their word that it was good). 

Makes about 8-10 servings. 

Let me know how it turns out for you if you try it! You may need more salt that you think. But once you have the right amount it really brings out the flavor in the soup. 
  

 
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Posted by on August 14, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Paleo diet to control fibromyalgia and stirfry recipe

Paleo diet to control fibromyalgia and stirfry recipe

Okay I’ve had these recipes stored in my brain and never have written them down before, so you might see a few  new recipes appear on the blog. 

In the last year I have gone strict Paleo and I have found that it has really helped with controlling my fibromyalgia. To sum it up I avoid all dairy (even butter and ghee), all grains including rice and quinoa, no legumes, I even have found that guar gum had been an issue because it is from legumes. So that pretty much eliminated anything coconut milk-based, which was what a disappointment because I LOVE coconut bliss ice cream. I also found there is only ONE almond milk that does NOT contain guar gum in it and that is the Pacific organic vanilla almond milk (believe me I searched All labels to find this one). 

I have found the Paleo diet had really turn everything around for me and I make sure to stick with it, no cheating.  I do recommend it for anybody who has autoimmune pain issues, it is the cleanest diet I have found. Also a side note tip to survive the paleo diet without coconut milk for your coffee, I use Liquid Stevia in the vanilla cream flavor to black coffee and it really makes it taste yummy. 

If you would like to hear more about how I put my fibromyalgia in REMISSION using the paleo diet please comment below. It’s not all 100% diet, I also have supplements I use that help as well. But I would say it’s 95% diet, and 5% exercise and supplements. That is not an exaggeration. Occasionally I will get a flare up, but that is usually when I eat out and the cooks got something wrong. I will also in another post give tips for how to eat out at restaurants, because I have found that my biggest challenge. 

Now on to the recipe! 

  
Paleo chicken sausage stir-fry

This isn’t really like a Chinese stir-fry, but more like a fresh American Thai stir-fry. I think you’ll like this recipe, it always is a staple in my house. I’ve tried it with carrots instead of celery and it’s not the best. So subbing veggies might give it a interesting twist. 

Ingredients: 
1 Tbs avocado oil
3 Aidells chicken apple sausage, chopped (Costco has best price)

1/2 Onion, chopped

1 cup red cabbage, chopped 

3 celery stalks, chopped 

Seasonings:

1/2 tsp Salt, 

1/2 tsp Garlic powder, 

1 Tbs cumin, 

1 tsp dried basil, 

1/4 tsp celery seed, (optional)

1/4 tsp Cajuns choice creole seasoning, (or any creole seasoning you can find, optional) 

1/4 tsp ground ginger.

1/2 tsp (or a few squirts) Worcestershire sauce

The Method:

I start by chopping the cabbage, onion, and celery first and then add it to a frying pan with a little bit of avocado oil. Then turn the heat on to medium heat and then I start chopping up the sausage to add to the mix and I let that cook until it’s almost halfway done, stirring occasionally (look at the cabbage and onions to tell how done they are). 

Then I add in my chopped mushrooms. Add the dry seasonings then stir. Then before it is done I add the worcestershire sauce. Make sure you do not over cool the veggies. The sausage is precooked so it’s ok if it’s not browned. 

Sometimes I add this to a paleo wrap (the coconut meat tortilla) to change it up a bit. (You can find them in the bread/bakery section at Whole Foods or Natural Grocers. 

I hope you try this super easy recipe and let me know how you like it! All spices were guesstimates since I just throw it all in the pan when I cook. 

 
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Posted by on May 22, 2015 in Food and drink

 

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Gluten Free Hair Products that are Bad for You

I wanted to revisit the post that I had written a while back about gluten free hair care products. The reason being is that the more I’ve had to narrow down what I put in my mouth it also has made me evaluate what I also put on my body.

The skin is an amazing organ that soaks up very quickly what you put on it. If you unknowingly put gluten in your mouth and you are intolerant or celiac than your body will reject it and you can figure out what you ate. But what if your shampoo, conditioner, or styling products ARE gluten free and you are noticing signs like you lose a lot of hair in the shower or you can’t get your hair to grow past a certain length? Maybe its more than just gluten you have to be concerned with.

Most people that start losing their hair think of “maybe it’s my thyroid” or “maybe there’s a hair growth serum to make my hair grow back”. Have you ever tried the simple trial and error method of switching your shampoo to see if you loose less hair?? That actually worked for me! Whereas a family member of mine went the thyroid method and is taking a pill. I do believe people have thyroid problems, but WHAT CAUSES the thyroid to be off? Could it be the chemicals we use that throw it off, and then we throw more chemicals at it in the form of a pill, and then we have to take another pill for the side effects?!? Lets wipe the slate clean, start over on how we view the products we use and try a more natural approach.

If you have food allergies then you are probably in the habit of reading labels on your food products, but how many times do you read the ingredient list on your styling products, lotions, hand soaps, or lipstick? Do you see where I’m getting at? There are so many harmful chemicals that the FDA is allows in consumer products because they have not been “proven harmful”. Wait… how long do they have to determine before they take it off the shelf if it is?!? In other countries outside the US they look at it in a perspective that it has not been “proven SAFE” so they won’t allow it. Scary thought if you live in the US! So the key is to educate yourself on the ingredients that you come in contact with everyday.

Lets look at a biggie, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. It’s in almost anything that cleans, from floor cleaner to your toothpaste! I’m sorry, but I don’t want to put floor cleaner in my mouth… no surprise it’s in shampoo as well. When chemicals come in contact with your skin it is immediately absorbed into the bloodstream. So the risk is much greater and faster than if you ate it, but most people don’t think of that because you are usually washing it off right after you put it on.  But think of your daily routine, you brush your teeth (SLS’s in toothpaste), you wash your hands (SLS’s in hand soap), you wash your hair (SLS’s in shampoo), you clean your dishes (SLS’s in dish soap), you wash your windows, floors, counters, (SLS’s in cleaning products). Do you see a pattern? It’s not just a little amount, its the accumulation of little amounts EVERY DAY that become toxic and lead to serious health problems.

Another scary thought is that beauty products do not have any federal regulations on them. They can be called “Natural” or “Healthy” and even “Organic” and be far from any one of those statements in reality. The only way you know if beauty products are truly organic is if it has the “USDA ORGANIC” seal on the packaging. My method lately is if I can’t pronounce it or it’s not grown from the ground, then I tend to stay clear of it.

The more I eliminate toxic chemicals from my daily routine, the better I feel physically every day. It takes a lot of thought process unfortunately in the beginning, but in the long run it becomes a routine and all the harmful products are no longer in your thought process.

Do yourself a favor and go through some of your everyday products and see how many contain SLS’s in them, you may be shocked! Then the next step is eliminating them from your routine and finding a more natural and safe product in it’s place.

 
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Posted by on November 12, 2014 in Health

 

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All good things must come to an end…

All good things must come to an end…

This last year it seems as if Murphy’s Law is in full effect. Just last week it topped the cake. My little birdie of 12 years finally took his last breath. He was the best bird I’ve ever had and was very much loved and spoiled.
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He was originally a birthday present of a 16 year old girl just over 14 years ago and once she got bored of him her little brother took him and wasn’t the nicest to him. Then a friend took him next and he was too busy and Peaches was very neglected. Then I enter the scene and took him on with all his flaws biting and screaming (from the flux of environment he had previously). It took me about 6 months to a year to cure him of his biting and much longer to cure the screaming.
About 6-7 years ago I stumbled upon BirdTricks.com and found a wonderful training program for birds there.
That changed his whole attitude once he was trained and had something to communicate to me his needs without screaming. You know he loves you when he will go and sit at the corner of his cage patiently waiting to be taken out as soon as you walk in the door. It melted my heart every time!
Within the last few weeks I noticed he was sleeping a lot more, not as interested in his food, but more into crawling to the back of my neck to cuddle. His chirp was sounding more pathetic the last week like he couldn’t sing out. It really got me worried. Then last Thursday I gave him a hug and a kiss before I left for work and he felt very week… He didn’t last long after that.
I never thought this day would come so soon. I really had the mentality he would live forever, or at least for another 10-15 years. Nothing can prepare you for the loss of a good friend. And it’s only right to give that friend a proper burial. I’m so glad for my best friend in helping me with that part.

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It is the hardest thing to do to leave a pet and walk away. But somehow I feel as if he served a purpose in my life and now it’s time to move on. Seeing an empty cage is not easy, and nothing could ever replace his love and personality. But all good things must come to an end.
We buried him at Hoyt Arboretum near the Redwood Deck behind one of the redwoods. It’s a very quiet and peaceful place and one of my favorite areas of that park. If you sit and listen you will hear all the wild birds singing to him all day long. It’s bitter sweet.

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I like that it’s a place I can visit over and over even though it’s not easy.

RIP little Peaches…

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Posted by on June 5, 2014 in A day in the life of Jeni

 

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Mediterranean Summer Salad

Long time no see! The last few months since I started my new job I have been trying to play catchup in life and have not been very inspired to cook. This usually happens when I start a new employment until I start to get into a routine. But as of late I’ve been eating out a lot and finally am getting sick of it. So now I’m creating. :)
Last night I threw together an experiment and hoped for the best. Thankfully it was a winner! :D Thankfully it’s really easy to make as well. The flavors in this salad are perfect for summer as it’s very fresh and light. This dish was inspired by a conversation about the Mediterranean Diet someone at work has been on lately. I think I might look more into it!

I call for “cans of”, but if you want to put in the extra time to cook your garbanzo beans I made mine in a “beyond rice, cooker” crockpot so it could soak for 3-4 hours and then cook for a minimum of 3 hours. I cooked mine in water, pink hymilian salt, and dropped a vegetable bouillon cube in for added protein and flavor.
Give it a try and plan a picnic on a beautiful day. I paired this with red lentils and green beans. Rinse and cook red lentils in chicken broth for 10 minutes, adding onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and 1/2 – 1 tsp dried thyme. Once cooked, add in cooked and drained green beans, and a little olive oil and that’s it. It packs a lot of protein in these two dishes and no meat had to be thawed (which is the main reason I barely eat meat…lack of planning lol!)
So now on to the recipe! :-)

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Mediterranean Summer Salad

Ingredients:
• 1 can Garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
• 1 can black olives, drained and sliced
• 1 can artichoke hearts, drained (I got the ones in water to cut the cost)
• 1/4 – 1/2 red onion, diced
• 1 green onion, diced
• Lemon zest of 1 lemon
• Juice of 1/2 a lemon
• Olive Oil to coat (3-5 Tbs)
• 1 Tbs Italian seasoning
• Salt and Pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and marinate in the fridge overnight. It will taste good when freshly made, but even better if you marinate it.
Serves 4-6

I hope you are enjoying the beautiful spring and cooking fresh homemade meals. It really is an investment to your health to cook instead of eating out. I just feel better when I know what goes into my food instead of hoping I don’t get sick from an ingredient someone forgot to tell me, or cross contamination.
Also a recent change to my diet, I have been off corn for almost six months now if not longer, and cheating doesn’t even appeal to me anymore. It really made a difference in my digestion. When I ate corn it was organic as much as possible, and even that bothered me. Now I am starting to cut out nightshades too. I do notice when I eat potatoes on how much it effects my alertness and pain levels. Potatoes are my #1 comfort food too. But I do want to feel even better than I have been and hopefully one day the weather changes will not effect me as much as it does.
Look forward to more creations coming up and fresh meal ideas.
Thank you also for hanging in there while my life was put on hold.

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Gluten Free Hair Care Products

Gluten Free Hair Care Products

Some people look at me funny when I go to the extreme of getting gluten free hair products, but let me explain…
When I lived in Alaska and in my gluten eating days I used to use Pureology products (which are vegan and not GF, salons get that mixed up a lot) and Redkin. I had no problems with them, my hair loved them! Then when I moved to Portland my whole immune system changed and I could not eat gluten whatsoever, but I also started to notice that my scalp was itching all the time and I would get little bumps on the nape of my neck. So I was on the hunt for a gluten free shampoo and conditioner. This has been a long process of trial and error! Some products that may not list any gluten whatsoever on the ingredients would still irritate my scalp and when I would call the company to ask (because I’m not a chemist) they said the ingredients in their fragrances come from another company and they do not have that ingredient list. So you never know what is in your hair care products to say the least.
Some companies were pretty rude as to say, “as long as you’re not eating it it shouldn’t have an effect for people with celiac”. Some people just don’t understand. Whatever you put on your body is absorbed into your system, and will have an effect!
(Disclaimer: I have no idea if I am celiac, I didn’t get the test before going off gluten, but I have a sensitivity that fits all the criteria for celiac).
Finding gluten free hair products is not the easiest, but more and more companies are starting to recognize there is a need and I am grateful. So to break it down for you of things I have tried and my thoughts on them keep reading.

To fill you in on my hair type, I have very stubborn hair. It’s stick straight, but slightly wavy just below the top layer, but not wavy enough for a wash and go style. My hair is very fine, but I have a LOT of very fine hair, so it takes forever to dry. My hair is also color treated (mainly to add texture when I’m fed up with it) and it does not hold curl well, although it’s getting better at obeying me. It’s a very silky texture so if I try to add volume, it just falls right out. So if you have curly hair or oily hair these products may work differently for you, but the brands I mention do have many products to choose from.

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Let’s start with the obvious, I’m sure most people who have been gluten sensitive for a while know that Garnier Fructis brand is safe. I have used the color safe shampoo and conditioner for a while and it is a great overall product that does not leave buildup. At some point I was starting to lose a lot of hair, so I tried Fall Fight which has biotin and caffeine in it to stimulate hair growth. This product is nice, but go easy on the conditioner or it will weigh your hair down (not for color treated hair).
Big Sexy Hair (BSH) or Healthy Sexy Hair products have a few gluten free products, which it will list on the front if it is. So don’t bother trying to interpret chemicals if it doesn’t say gluten free. Some of the healthy line is wheat based, so avoid! I really like the Volumizing conditioner over the Garnier conditioner. The BSH conditioner is also for color treated hair.

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On to the products I use for clarifying (because sometimes you need a reboot for your hair). Kevin Murphy is a recent discovery for a hair detox. Before I was using Pureology Zerosulfate shampoo and dealing with the itchy scalp, but my stylist finally found something that helps with that. Kevin Murphy products are on the more expensive side, so it’s a splurge product for me. I only use it maybe once a week or a week and a half, so this bottle will last me a while. And since my parents were in town my mom has discovered that it helped calm down an eczema spot on her arm…and then I had to inform her that wasn’t body wash! Haha
When you do a detox you need to follow up with a good conditioner. I have found Macadamia hair mask to be THEE BEST! It leaves your hair so soft and full of life! This is also not a cheap product, but well worth the splurge. I believe all their products are gluten free (don’t quote me on that though). This is not an every day conditioner either, so use sparingly, a little does go a long way. Every time I use that hair mask I get compliments on my hair.

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Hugo & Debra Naturals is a more recent find for me. I have been trying it out for almost two months now to see if I really liked it. Most natural shampoos and conditioners tend to weigh my hair down, so it’s been hard to find one that works for me. I started to look for S&C that is sodium laurel sulfate free because my scalp has been getting irritated this winter when I use Garnier products. (They are the same bottles I used for months, so it’s not a change in formula). I think my skin has been going through a dry freak out mode so I wanted to see if avoiding SLS’s would help.
My first thought on the shampoo was, no lather. The normal amount I used didn’t feel like I was getting it throughout my hair. So I do use twice as much shampoo to make sure my hair is getting clean. The conditioner I use half as much, so about a quarter size for my collar bone length hair. This conditioner makes my hair feel nice like the Macadamia hair mask, but just a few notches down on the overall outcome, if that makes any sense. This conditioner is safe for every day use.
Since I have started using Hugo & Debra Naturals products I have noticed that I have been losing a lot less hair! I used to have quite the string art on the shower wall a few months back (sorry for the TMI), but now I have only a few strands…like as in 2-4 total at the end of my shower that I lose. That to me is worth continuing on with this product! I found Hugo & Debra Naturals at Whole Foods. I usually can find the same brands at New Seasons and Fred Meyers, which are local Pacific Northwest stores, but this S&C I can only find at Whole Foods.
The description reads 100% natural, never any: Parabens, silicones, sulfates, phenoxyethanol, propylene glycol, PEG’s, petroleum products, artificial colors or fragrances. Soy free, vegan, gluten free, cruelty free. The company is based out of Belgium but made in the USA. You can look them up online at www.HugoDebraNaturals.com
(I do not get paid for my opinion, I bought these with my own money, this company has no idea who I am).

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Now on to styling products! I am still trying to find ones that I am super thrilled with, but in the meantime these ones I am happy with.
Alterna hairspray is now my go-to product. (Same company as Bamboo hair products). Yes it’s pricy, but it will last a long time and it’s a great hold. It’s flexible but not fallout. I used to use TRI Aerogel (which is not GF, but it has ironically never bothered my scalp) and that is considered “hurricane hairspray”. So anything that is similar to that without the crunchy effect is great in my book! The Alterna hairspray keeps your curls soft if I’m trying to keep my style all day. But I mainly use it on my bangs and they stay put.
I have tried the Garnier hairsprays, but I’m not a big fan. They just didn’t seem to hold, but people with very fine thin hair love it.
For mousse (which I have to use daily for my stubborn hair) I have settled on Garnier Sky-Hi volume. This gives a pretty good hold but not concrete hold. I liked XXL Volume better but I can never find it in stores anymore.
I have tried the Alterna mousse but it started to give me buildup so I returned it.
For a heat protectant, I use argan oil. I originally fell in love with Unite Argan Oil but it’s pretty pricy. I have since found Organix Argan oil of Morocco deep penetrating oil as a close second. I find mine at Ulta, they have the little bottles at the register for about $3 and that lasts me a long time.
Although, that is the only product from Organix that I can use. I tried one of the S&C the my mom raves about and the whole 6 hour drive home I was itching my head. So that was my first clue, although I didn’t see any glutinous products in the ingredients. I follow what my scalp tells me.
Unite has a line of gluten free products and I use a mix of the wet/dry gel with equal parts Argan oil to run thru freshly curled hair to make the curls look more natural. It will not make your hair crispy, but very soft and touchable!
That concludes this very long review of products I’ve tried. An honorable mention goes out to Desert Essence for a gluten free and I believe vegan hair care line. I tried a few, but I couldn’t find the right one for my hair type so I gave up. But they did not irritate my scalp.
I hope this helps you in finding the right gluten free hair care product. With trying to pay attention to what I put in my mouth, it’s just an added annoyance when my head itches from gluten too!
What gluten free hair care products have you tried that you like? I am interested in hearing about more brands!
If you have read this whole post, thank you! :-)

 
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Posted by on January 20, 2014 in A day in the life of Jeni

 

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