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Many of you have reached out to me with such amazing, positive feedback from our all-natural, chemical-free deodorant line and we want to thank you for that feedback! We are thrilled with the results and effectiveness and even more thrilled that it’s working for you too! We’ve decided to put a short post together containing tips, tricks and what to expect for using the all-natural deodorant to help you further enjoy the experience. Enjoy!

  • If possible, do the 3-day tea tree oil detox to rid your body of toxins from commercial anti-persperants such as aluminum zirconium.
  • If the product melts, mix the product to redistribute the ingredients, then stick in the refrigerator just long enough for the product to resolidify, then use and store at room temperature. This will not impact effectiveness. Because coconut oil is one of the main ingredients, it will melt in the heat and solidify in cooler temperatures. Be sure to travel with it in a ziplock bag to prevent leaks. If the product is very cold, you can take a small amount out of the jar with your finger and hold it in your armpit (arm closed) until it begins to melt. Use and store at room temperature.
  • The deodorant is best applied using your finger. I recommend using a small amount. I use an amount smaller than the size of a dime.
  • Ladies wearing tank tops—after applying, check your armpit to ensure the product is fully absorbed. If you see anything white, just brush your armpit and the white will brush right off or rub into your skin. If you’re not wearing a tank top, you don’t have a reason to be concerned.
  • Ladies that shave—if you experience any stinging after shaving and then applying the deodorant, try shaving in the evening instead, then waiting to apply the deodorant until the morning.
  • Irritation—if you experience any irritation, I suggest trying several things: 1. Make sure you didn’t just shave your pits.  2. Reduce the amount and/or frequency of use of the product and the irritation should subside. 3. Try using a different scent or try the Sensitive Original (unscented), as sometimes people can have sensitivities to essential oils. 4. Try our Sensitive Advanced formula, which does not include baking soda, which can cause irritation in some people. UPDATE 12/6/15: I have been using this deodorant every single day for over 3.5 years. I have only experienced 2 small and brief periods where I had some irritation under my arms. It was easily remedied by using the Advanced formula for a couple weeks, then I went right back to the same scent I was wearing before without issues.
  • This is a deodorant, not an anti-persperant. We want to sweat. Sweating is a natural body response and helps to eliminate toxins. Some people have mentioned that at the beginning of making the switch to all-natural deodorant, they were sweating more than usual. They have also reported that this is only temporary, and the results were fantastic! I actually sweat LESS now with this deodorant (not an anti-persperant) than I was before.
  • If the deodorant dries out at all (this can happen if it leaks/spills or is kept in a hot place) just add a touch of organic sunflower oil and remix. Voila! Good as new!

Hopefully those tips and tricks will help you as you embark on your chemical-free deodorant life! We can honestly say we love this product so much, we will never go back to store-bought brands! I wore commercial anti-persperant for 15+ years before doing the 3-day detox and making the switch. I have tried a couple of other “natural” deodorants in the past such as Jason’s and Tom’s brands, but neither of them worked at all for me. In fact, I’ve never met anyone who has told me either of these brands have actually worked for them. How they are still on store shelves is beyond me. The deodorant is the only thing my husband and I have worn for years now. My husband loves and it, and he’s not nearly as “crunchy” as I am!

Buy it on Etsy!

Peace, love and healthy bodies,

Melissa

Reason #97 why you can’t lose weight…because let’s face it, there are potentially quite a few things contributing to the fact that you can’t lose weight. It’s supposed to be easy, right? Burn more calories than you consume and you “should”, in theory, lose weight. But what if you don’t? Well, there’s a myriad of reasons why this could be happening. Without a full blood panel, it’s impossible for me to tell you exactly why that is, since it could be related to thyroid issues, hormone imbalances, etc.). However, something you may or may not have heard of as being a culprit is called homeostasis.

Human homeostasis is derived from the Greek, homeo or “same”, and stasis or “stable” and means remaining stable or remaining the same. In other words, your body is going to attempt to maintain stability within its internal environment when dealing with external changes. This is most often discussed in terms of survival, whereas the liver, the kidneys and the brain help maintain homeostasis by metabolizing toxic substances, regulating blood water levels and excreting wastes. Another example occurs as our body regulates temperature in an effort to maintain an internal temperature around 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. We sweat to cool off when we are hot and we shiver to produce heat when we are cold.

However, homeostasis also plays a role in terms of weight loss. As your body starts to change, it will also try to “hold on” to what it’s known for so long. For example, if you have been 30 lbs. overweight for the last say…10 years and you are beginning to lose that weight, your body will fight to get back to that 30 lb. overweight “place” because that’s what it’s known for so long. This is just one more reason why to truly lose weight and keep it off for good, you have to make lasting lifestyle changes, not temporary fixes. Short-term, lose weight quick diets will only hurt you in the end, messing with your mental state as well as your hormones and metabolism.

We all know that there are a bizillion (yes, a “bizillion”) reasons why it’s difficult to lose weight. However, the more responsible, knowledgable and committed you are as you embark on your weight loss journey, the more successful you will be. There will be roadblocks, obstacles, plateaus and the like, but be aware, be smart and be persistent and you will minimize this homeostasis issue.

Peace, love and responsible weight loss,

Melissa Villamizar, CPT

That’s right! There are now a total of FOUR scents available in our homemade deodorant! This amazingly effective, all-natural, chemical-free product is now available in Rosemary Eucalyptus, Vanilla Coconut, Sandalwood and of course our original scent, Lemon + Clove! Below is a quick description of each scent, but if you’d like to try them all, you can order a four-pack for slightly less than buying them all individually! Also, the homemade deodorants now come in screw-top glass jars!

I can’t wait to hear what you think about them. The feedback I’ve gotten so far has been outstanding! For best results, I recommend doing the tea tree oil detox prior to going chemical-free, but it’s not required. Enjoy!

Lemon + Clove DeodorantLemon + Clove

Original scent — Stronger scent of clove over the lemon. Woodsy and fresh.

Buy online

Rosemary Eucalyptus DeodorantRosemary Eucalyptus

New — Clean, fresh, rejuvinating spa-like scent. My new favorite!

Buy online

Vanilla Coconut DeodorantVanilla Coconut

New — Fruity and delicious. You will want to lick your armpit… Seriously.

Buy online

Sandalwood DeodorantSandalwood

New — Fresh and outdoors-y with hints of clove similar to Lemon + Clove.

Buy online

4-pack with lemon and clove deodorant4-Pack

Includes one of each of the scents listed above!

Buy online

Hello and Happy Monday friends from across the globe! I hope you all had a fantastic weekend!

We are starting off this new week posting about what many might consider a rather touchy subject. It has come to my attention that several people may have experienced some frustration after I recently shared a photo on facebook of a sign in a doctor’s office stating that they do not give flu shots. I shared this photo because I believe it’s time people start realizing that just because someone (i.e. the media, Walgreens, etc) says you should do something doesn’t necessarily mean that you should. I wish more people realized that they have a choice whether or not to get the flu shot, a right to know what potentially dangerous chemicals it contains and possible drawbacks to getting it.

However, doctors and nurses everywhere save lives every day. They come to work day in and day out dedicating themselves to helping others. How many of us can say that about ourselves? So to doctors and nurses everywhere, here is me saying that I appreciate what you do for us. I think we are lucky to live in a country with amazing advancements in medicine, but I also feel that we should be doing more to prevent disease instead of treating symptoms or waiting for things to get bad, as they inevitably will without preventative care. My frustration lies in the media, big pharma companies and doctors that don’t listen.

Unfortunately it only takes one bad apple to tarnish a name. It’s that one dirty player that gives the team a bad reputation, the one ref that makes the bad call or maybe it’s a family with a misunderstood child. In this case, I feel that it is because of years of treatment by uneducated doctors that helped land me in the position I am today—dealing with side effects and issues from years of being over-medicated.

Flu Shots NOT Here!Do I believe in the flu shot? No, I most certainly do not. I think it does more harm than good. But we live in the United States, where we have the right to say, think and feel as we so desire. It is for that same reason that I withhold judgement towards others that DO get and believe in the flu shot. Am I going to vaccinate my children? Yeah, probably. Word on the street is that they can’t get into school otherwise. Am I thrilled about that? Not particularly. But I do think it’s great that my children won’t have to get the measles.

I’ve gained and continue to gain knowledge as I grow older, and one of the most important things to me is that people realize that there are two sides to every story. For instance, big pharma companies fund studies and publish research about how their drug cures “such and such” disease. Maybe it does, but there’s also about 100 side effects it causes as well, which are severely downplayed. Fruits and vegetables, physical activity and plenty of rest can prevent those diseases and even reverse ailments in some cases too, but no one can get rich off fruits and vegetables like they can a prescription medication. No one is going to fund research that proves vegetables can make you better because then what…? People might actually start eating them, and might become healthier?! If that happens, they won’t need the big pharma company’s medications, then the pharma companies go out of business—heaven forbid!

Again, these are my ramblings. There’s a million other people on the internet rambling about things you may or may not agree with. But my current thoughts and feelings stem from past experiences as well as my current state of well being which very honestly right now—is sheer frustration. Frustration because I feel like I was mislead for more than half of my life and am now paying the price. And most recently, frustration that I tell my ENT doc that I’m looking for a lasting drug-free solution to my problem, and he does just the opposite by writing me prescriptions for decongestants and steroids. He’s probably just busy, but he’s not listening. On the other hand, I have several natural doctors that I’m working with that do listen to me, and I feel as if they truly care about me. They treat me like a person, not a number, and are dedicated to finding natural solutions to my issues that will make me happy and healthy.

So to the doctors and nurses out there, thank you. Thank you for doing what you do, day in and day out. Thanks for understanding that the shared photo comes from a girl who’s quite frustrated, like yourself. In the end, we all want to be happy and healthy. So let’s band together!

Peace, love and understanding,

Melissa

I eat organic—no big deal. What is a big deal—spending a pretty penny to do so. I’m serious about my health and I won’t sacrifice eating conventional produce covered in pesticides to save a few bucks. Well, that and I won’t eat conventional because it tastes like crap… but that’s another blog post. The point is—I’ve recently come to the realization that I spend far too much money on groceries.

You may or may not have heard of the whole “co-op produce” phenomenon. I was actually introduced to it just a few short weeks ago. A few friends mentioned going to pick up their “co-op vegetables”. Meanwhile, I stood  there—vegetable-less—wondering what in the world they were talking about. I needed to find out.

Enter Urban Acres.

At Urban Acres, our goal is to provide our community with the very best local and organic foods while supporting Texas farm families and artisans.

After inquiring about these co-op vegetables, it didn’t take me long to sign up for my membership online! Heck, I’ll try anything once! But this actually seemed like a pretty good deal. I signed up for a half share, which means every two weeks I get 15 lbs. of fresh, local, organic and sustainable produce for $30. Did I mention it is local AND organic?! Music to my ears. There’s nothing  I love more than supporting local farmers and businesses. Besides eating organic… but I already covered that. There’s also a yearly membership fee of $50 and a one-time service fee of $14. Cool, I can handle that.

Co-Op Produce
Co-op produce from Urban Acres

Saturday morning I picked up my very first share of co-op produce. It was exciting and I felt proud to be supporting local farmers. I was also thrilled to be saving some hard-earned cash! There are several pick-up locations in the DFW metroplex. My pick-up location is actually about a mile from my house—so close! I signed in, got my bin full of produce as well as an enormous watermelon! The contents of the bin change each pick-up, but in today’s produce included: watermelon, okra, potatoes, tomatoes, figs, onions, zucchini, romaine lettuce, swiss and rainbow chard and arugula. Wow, that’s a ton of produce! Although I don’t have experience with all of these wonderful items, the Urban Acres website provides some great recipe ideas! I can’t wait to try them out!

So far, my experience with co-op produce has been an exciting one! I will keep you posted as my life as a co-op-er continues. Is that a word… “co-op-er”…? Well, it is now! On another note, I encourage you to check your area for co-op produce! Eating healthy is a necessity, but you shouldn’t break the bank in order to do so! Are you paying too much for produce?

Peace, love and organic produce,

Melissa

Holly-Alexander-Bio-Photo
Holly Alexander
Photo courtesy of runograph.com

Live Whole Be Free is growing! Please join me in welcoming Holly Alexander as LWBF’s latest blog contributor!

I am extremely proud and excited to be welcoming Holly to the team. Not only is Holly one of the most genuine, loving and passionate people I know, she’s also a fantastic new mother, talented PR professional and an exceptional athlete. Exercise, cooking and healthy eating have always been a big part of her life, and now, as the mother of a beautiful baby girl, she realizes more than ever the importance of good food and maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle. It is through these things that Holly strives to be a positive, balanced role model for her daughter. What she doesn’t realize is that she’s touching so many additional lives along the way!

Holly believes that “whole health” starts with what you put into your body. So as a blog contributor to Live Whole Be free, her goal is to help people incorporate good nutrition as a natural part of their daily life.

I love to eat and explore new foods and flavors. Eating healthy and loving what you eat do not have to be two separate things! – Holly Alexander

Stay tuned for upcoming posts from Holly!

Peace, love and growth,

Melissa

Hello friends! I hope you’re all enjoying the warm weather now that summer is in full swing! We sure are enjoying the heat down in Texas! And speaking of the heat… yep… the homemade deodorant is still working! In fact, the responses to the Aluminum Zirconium post was so overwhelming, I’ve decided to make a little challenge out of it.

UPDATE: THIS OFFER IS EXPIRED: If you are curious about the homemade deodorant but don’t want to invest the time or money to make your own—no problem—I’ve decided to make it for you! I’ve bought plenty of 1 ounce containers and will spend the next few days making deodorant for those of you willing to give this challenge a try. Aren’t they cute?! And they’re cheap! Just four bucks for a 1 oz. plastic container of lemon and clove homemade deodorant (shipping not included). That’s comparable to what you would pay at a “regular” grocery store for commercial anti-persperants AND it won’t cause Alzheimer’s or other neurological issues/side effects. Sounds like a win, huh?! It’s also much cheaper than buying from specialty organic stores. If you’re interested in this, I suggest jumping on this opportunity as I’m not certain I’m going to make deodorant-making my full-time gig.

Here is the Homemade Deodorant Challenge

For three days, you wear only a drop of tea tree essential oil (melaleuca alternifolia) under each arm. This is your detox period in order to rid your body of aluminum zirconium, the icky chemical found in commercial anti-persperants, linked to all kinds of issues! Also, you need to sweat those toxins out! Don’t sit home all day under the air conditioning trying to avoid getting stinky. Those first few days—you might smell a bit, but it’s worth it! If you’re concerned about it, do it over the weekend, making Saturday and Sunday the first two days. By Monday, you’ll be much better off.

After three days, you spend the next week (to two weeks) wearing only the homemade deodorant. For most people, it won’t take long to convince you that this stuff works. It only took me a few days. But for those of you who need more convincing, go for two full weeks.

Lastly, I want to know how it goes! Post your comments below and let’s have a nice group chat about everyone’s experiences with this! Remember, everyone’s body is different, so embrace the fact that your experience might be different than the next person’s and that is perfectly normal!

To purchase LWBF’s Lemon and Clove All-Natural Deodorant visit Live Whole Be Free’s Etsy Shop!

**TIP: If your product gets too warm, it will turn into more of a liquid than a paste. This is completely normal and it’s because of the melting temperature of the coconut oil. Just use a toothpick or your finger to mix it back up to evenly distribute the ingredients, then stick it in the fridge for a bit! However, use and store at room temperatures. For more tips and tricks, check out our Tips/Tricks post**

 

Yep, you read that right. I’ve taken another step towards becoming a full-fledged hippie by actually making my own deodorant. First, let me give you some background information to help you understand how I made this decision.

I should start by saying that I had no idea I would ever do this, nor is my goal to actually become a hippie. I’m all for eating clean and avoiding as many toxins as possible, but I never considered potentially sacrificing personal hygiene practices in order to do so.

The truth is, you don’t have to sacrifice anything. To be honest, I feel if anything I’ve gained instead of lost! I lost harmful toxins and gained a whole new appreciation for ingredients like coconut oil and arrowroot powder as well as a new perspective on commercial products.

I approached my doctor about two months ago with a slightly embarrassing issue. Interestingly enough, it had nothing to do with body odor. For several weeks, I noticed I had been slurring my words when speaking, and leaving out groups of letters when writing. I was concerned. Although there truly are a myriad of things that can cause side effects like these, he asked if I used anti-persperants with aluminum zirconium in them. I had no idea. I checked the ingredients as soon as I could and sure enough, they read like a science project: Aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex gly 15.4%, cyclomethicone, stearyl alcohol, C12-15 alkyl benzoate, PPG-14 butyl ether, hydrogenated castor oil, PEG-8 distearate, hydrogenated soybean oil, talc, fragrance, hydrolyzed corn starch, behenyl alcohol. Ruh row, this can’t be good.

So I did a little research and to be honest, it’s just like anything else. There are people out there swearing that this stuff causes Alzheimer’s Disease, neurological damage, memory loss, learning difficulty, loss of coordination, disorientation, mental confusion, colic, heartburn, flatulence, and headaches. Then there are others claiming there isn’t enough research to support these claims and there is no cause for alarm. However, knowing what I know now about the government, the FDA and the political crap that goes on in our country (watch Food, Inc. if you don’t know what I’m referring to), I don’t need a whole lot of research to tell me if this is a legitimate cause for concern. My body is telling me that something is wrong and whether the slurring is connected to aluminum zirconium or not, I believe that putting a potentially harmful substance on one of the most porous parts of my body to stop me from sweating—a natural occurrence—is now an absurd thing and I’m through with it.

I talked to a few other of my “hippie” friends who have been doing the homemade deodorant thing for years. They told me what to expect, where to buy safe deodorants and how to make my own. So here’s how it went:

Days 1-3: No deodorant and definitely no anti-persperant. Consider this your detox—getting rid of all the aluminum zirconium in your body. I used a drop of tea tree oil under each arm and that was all. It’s uncomfortable at first. After decades of wearing deodorant of some sort, it is a strange feeling! I was a little stinky, but it wasn’t anything I couldn’t handle. I went through my workouts as usual as well.

Day 4: Detox is over! I started using a chemical-free, safe deodorant I bought online.

Days 4-30: Okay, wow. I’m shocked, super happy, sweating less than I was using an anti-persperant and I smell delicious! I’ve even had several friends smell my armpits and they all agree. (Talk about great friends, who else would smell your armpit?!) I should also note that I currently reside in hot, sweaty Texas and participate boot camps and in Bikram Yoga (105°, 60% humidity, 90 minutes)—and I am still swearing by this deodorant!

Days 31-50 (today): I’m so thrilled with the results of this new deodorant that I’ve started making my own. You can also buy it online from LWBF’s Etsy shop!

I truly highly recommend this homemade deodorant. In fact, I’ll never go back to commercial products. I consider myself quite the “sweater” and this stuff works great for me! Just remember, with a base of coconut oil, it’s going to melt in the heat and solidify in cooler temperatures. If it melts, just stir it a bit, then stick it in the fridge—it will be good as new! Check out all the tips and tricks!

I should also note that I am no longer slurring my words! Hooray!

UPDATE 12/6/15: I have been using this deodorant daily for 3.5 years, and I am still totally thrilled with it. In fact, I have perfected the recipe and I think with 166 5-star reviews on Etsy, it seems that everyone else agrees! Give it a try

Peace, love and aluminum zirconium-free bodies,

Melissa

Great news! For those that don’t already know, I have been contributing weekly blog posts to The American Heart Association for about four weeks now! I’m proud and honored to be a guest blogger for them. With this blog and other social media efforts, they are reaching more people than ever, helping raise awareness of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. You can find helpful information from them through social media channels including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, Pinterest and of course, the new blog. Help support their (and our) mission to build healthier lives by checking out some of the latest posts from Live Whole Be Free’s Melissa Villamizar!

7 Hot Tips For a Healthy Summer, May 26, 2012

7 Easy Ways To Get Moving!, May 17, 2012

Go Ahead–Treat Yourself To Good Health, May 11, 2012

Welcome To Your New, Healthy Lifestyle!, May 4, 2012

 

Eating healthy becomes much easier when we are in control of what and how we cook. It is possible to find healthy meals outside of your own home, but you lose control over how such items are cooked. Eggs cooked in oil, sweet potatoes fried instead of baked… restaurants typically take the cheap and easy approach to all things. This week, we are going to focus on cooking our own food. This is going to be an essential concept in achieving a healthier lifestyle.

This week, you will cook at least 6 meals on your own. That means you, not a spouse or anyone else. This week you will prepare breakfast twice, lunch twice and dinner twice. This should prevent folks from only preparing say, breakfast for example, and taking the easy way out of the challenge. But none of you would do that, right? After all, this program is voluntary, and the goal is to step outside your comfort zone to learn new ways to become healthier. Everyday, at a minimum, you will be preparing one meal for yourself.

For some of you, this will be easier than others. This challenge is currently geared towards those that do not prepare very many meals for themselves. If you currently cook at least 6 meals on your own each week, you’re going to need to find a way to make this challenge one you will find more difficult. For instance, say you always prepare your own breakfast, always bring a fresh lunch (prepared by you, not a frozen meal) to work, and sometimes cook dinner for yourself… this week, I challenge you to cook dinner for yourself every day. Or maybe dinner isn’t the problem, but you’re a slave to the sodium-filled Lean Cuisines at lunch. If that is the case, challenge yourself to bring your lunch every day this week.

The point of these challenges is to make them difficult for yourself. If you come across a challenge that is going to be easy for you, find a way to modify it to ensure you will be learning something and at the end you will have taken something positive away from the week’s challenge. This is all about you, don’t forget that!

Below are some helpful resources I recommend for healthy recipes. Please try some new recipes this week, and if you find one you like, please share it with us! Do exercise caution, however. Healthy recipe sites will sometimes contain recipes that might contain healthy ingredients, but could be high in calories, etc. If you have questions, please feel free to email me!

Live Whole Be Free

CLEAN Program Recipes

Whole Foods

Chef Chloe

My New Roots

The Urban Poser

Skinny Scoop

100 Days of Real Food

You are in control of what you put into your body. You are responsible for how you look on the outside, and how you feel on the inside. Think of food as fuel. Ask yourself, is what I’m about to eat going to give my body the proper nutrients to function optimally? Good luck this week!

Peace, love and responsible eating,

Melissa